A historic tree overhangs U.S. 58 and Main Street indowntown Kewanee, Illinois, US. It had leaned over the street for decades, but following heavy rains in 2009, it leaned more. Responding to calls to remove the tree, Guy Sternberg’s
team of arborists offered plans to preserve it.
With public safety first in mind and the tree’s preservation the second goal, they wrote specifications for pruning and supporting the tree. City staff expertly followed the pruning specifications in February 2010, greatly mitigating the risk of failure. The City algreed with plans to clean the tree’s crown of dead wood, invigorate the roots, and collect cuttings for propagation.
In June 2010, I climbed the tree, removed dead wood, and pruned it to further improve the structure. With most of the load removed, the specs to install a support system were put on hold.
Volunteers perform periodic inspections, to inform the City on future management needs. Given the powerful durability of Maclura, and the rejuvenation of the remaining limbs, the prognosis is very good.