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Bicentennial Ash tree gets second life

Wood from an ash tree in Wilmette, Ill., estimated to have sprouted before 1776 and downed in a storm last summer, will be preserved.

Known as the Bicentennial Ash tree, it towered over Gillson Park and was familiar to both Wilmette residents and people from across the country, the Wilmette Life reported. The tree is destined to live on in the form of handcrafted lobby furniture at Wilmette Village Hall. Smaller portions will have pride of place at the Wilmette Historical Museum, and still other “tree cookie” slices will provide educational fodder for Wilmette area school students.

Not many ash trees in urban settings ever reach the ripe old age of 120 years that some might attain in forested areas, Sorby told the newspaper. Usually their lifespan stands in the 70- to 90-year range, and they can last even shorter periods of time than that.

“Trees in urban parkway settings can average just 30 years of age,” he said. “This tree went so far beyond that span that it was truly amazing.”

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