Historic Sparkill tree chopped down

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An historic Sparkill tree is no longer standing.



Known throughout the area as Fraxinus Americana, the 350-year-old White Ash held the title of Rockland's oldest and biggest tree, and at one point was considered the largest of its kind in America.



The tree recently began to lose its battle with old age. Limbs had to be chopped off, others had to be secured by cables and the owner of neighboring Sparkill Steakhouse became increasingly worried about the safety of his workers and customers.



O'Sullivan Tree Care began the solemn task of taking down the 95-foot tree Wednesday. Some of the wood is being saved for local artists to preserve the tree's memory.



Historians believe clones of the tree were planted on the grounds of George Washington's home in Mount Vernon, Virginia. A local nonprofit is trying to get a sapling from one of those trees to plant at the DeWint House in Tappan.


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