Clinton County Courthouse’s mighty oak needs to be axed


By Gary Huffenberger - ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com



The Nov. 15 ice storm proved to be the undoing of one of the most familiar trees of Clinton County — the old oak tree that for generations has stood alongside the center of downtown Wilmington.

The Nov. 15 ice storm proved to be the undoing of one of the most familiar trees of Clinton County — the old oak tree that for generations has stood alongside the center of downtown Wilmington.


Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

WILMINGTON — The very large and apparently very old oak tree on the northwest corner of Courthouse Square has been assessed after a recent ice storm damaged its massive trunk, and county commissioners this week indicated the tree needs to be removed.

In the interest of public safety, a limb should be cut out very soon because it represents a hazard, said Clinton County Commissioner Brenda K. Woods.

Clinton County Commissioners President Patrick Haley said the commissioners were informed of the tree’s situation, and additional tests were run on the tree concerning its stability.

“There are concerns there are other dead parts in the tree, and with a tree that old and with our courthouse 100th anniversary coming up next year, I think it’s very important for the people in the community to know that although this tree is at the end of its life, we’re going to give birth so to speak to a new tree, and maybe that would occur during the [October 2019] celebration,” Haley said.

Woods said once that part of the tree that’s of immediate concern comes out, then commissioners can take some time to think about how to do it, and what they want to do with the wood.

Haley said there are options, there “are things that wood could be used for, so we want community input.”

He said county officials have been contacted by some woodworkers who have projects in mind for the tree’s wood.

Clinton County Commissioner Kerry R. Steed said a new tree can be put in the same conspicuous area of Courthouse Square. Steed added that local tree expert Rick Stanforth said that something more substantial than a little sapling could, from the outset, be placed there.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

The Nov. 15 ice storm proved to be the undoing of one of the most familiar trees of Clinton County — the old oak tree that for generations has stood alongside the center of downtown Wilmington.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/11/web1_tree-horizontal.jpgThe Nov. 15 ice storm proved to be the undoing of one of the most familiar trees of Clinton County — the old oak tree that for generations has stood alongside the center of downtown Wilmington. Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

By Gary Huffenberger

ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com