The council was acting on the advice of the town's Parks & Recreation and Conservation committees, the Public Works Department, and reports from an arborist and the town's insurer. The dugout has been closed since April 2008, when the council voted to save the tree pending a pruning and support from a metal brace. The tree reportedly once survived a lightning strike and earned the name "Resurrection Tree" by some in the community.
Somebody should gather acorns and sprout them, said Councilman Ted Driscoll, a leading advocate for the tree in 2008. "Give the children a chance to survive what the father couldn't," he added, "or what the mother couldn't."
Lay the trunk on its side some distance away and let nature take its course with it, suggested former mayor Jon Silver from the audience — an idea that seemed to have a consensus.
"In my mind, it's pretty clear we've reached the end of the road for the tree and that's all I'm going to say," said Councilwoman Ann Wengert.
"I'm sad about it, but it's the right thing to do," said Mayor Maryann Derwin.
"It's always important to protect our trees," Public Works Director Howard Young responded.
"Fortunately, we have thousands," Mr. Driscoll added.