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The 100-year-old maple tree at the Linn County Courthouse that lost a large branch during Sunday night's storm will have to be cut down, said Russ Williams, head of the county's general services department.

"Because of the way the branch ripped away from the main trunk, the area won't heal, so it becomes receptive to pests, disease and rot," he said.

Also, the lost limb caused the tree to be out of balance so a wind could blow it over easily, Williams said.

An arborist with Buena Vista Arbor Care recommended that the county take out the tree, and the city's arborist, Craig Carnagey agreed, said county Commissioner Roger Nyquist.

When to remove the tree remains to be decided, partly because there are questions about what to do with the wood, Williams said.

The Boy Scouts want to cut the tree up and sell it for firewood, while others want to use pieces as a "nursing" log. That means sections are placed in areas to rot, becoming hosts for new plants.

Democrat-Herald

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