A state champion tree at Boone Central Public School will have to be removed soon.
That’s the conclusion of a certified arborist who studied the tree last month and sent his findings to Boone Central Superintendent Cory Worrell.
The large Linden tree has occupied the southeast corner of the Albion campus for 65 years or possibly more. It was planted by a kindergarten class at Albion Public Schools in the 1940s.
The tree is listed as the state’s current “champion” American Linden tree by the Nebraska Forest Service. Based on measurements taken in 2002, the tree is 55 feet tall, 20.75 feet in circumference, has a “spread” of 73 feet and totaled 322 points on the Forest Service scoring system.
Unfortunately, the tree also has a serious structural problem — a major cavity in the central trunk about 12 feet above the ground. Arborist Steven Ramaekers of Columbus noted this cavity opening is nearly 80 percent of the diameter of the trunk, and the trunk is almost entirely hollow to the base of the tree. The hollow area also extends at least 24 feet above the cavity. The cavity has been present for several years, contributing to decay and weakening the tree structure over time.
Details in the Dec. 2 Albion News Print Edition.