More Than Century-Old Elm Tree Comes Down at John Brown House

Mar 11, 2013

The 108-year-old Elm tree came down Monday morning in front of the John Brown House in Providence.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

A historic tree on the grounds of the John Brown House in Providence was cut down Monday.  

Early in the morning a tree crew armed with a chain saw lopped off the top third of the 108-year-old elm. A crane carefully lowered the piece to the ground.  The American elm on the grounds of the John Brown House fell victim to a fatal canker, according to Rhode Island Historical Society grounds keeper Ed Desjarlais.

Crews prepare to cut down the old elm tree on the grounds of the John Brown House.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

He says it will cost a little more than $1,000 to cut down the tree and remove the stump. “And then all the other trees to be treated we’re probably in the $10,000 range,” says Desjarlais.

Watching the activity was Rhode Island School of Design furniture designer Dale Broholm. He’s going to use the trunk of the tree to create some furniture, including one piece destined for the Rhode Island Historical Society. He says he’ll probably turn the piece into a table.

The tree is one of 14 American and European elms that were planted in 1905 by then owner Marsden Perry to create a park like setting out of the property.

Editor's Note: The original version of this story gave the incorrect age.

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