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Woodland Park Losing 200-Year-Old Poplar Tree

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Decay and vandalism have finally taken their toll on a 200-year-old yellow poplar in Woodland Park.

The city hired Big Beaver Tree Service to cut it down this week. Owner Ian Hoffman estimates the poplar was about 90-100 feet tall.

“At the base you can look right at it and see the base is rotted out. And that’s where they set the fire too,” says Hoffman.

The parks department regularly monitors the health of its trees and tried to help the poplar with mulching, fertilization, and pruning. Urban Forester Tim Queary says it was a losing battle.

“So at this point we’re not so much concerned about the health of the tree but the safety of the park visitors. And we feel like at this point it’s no longer structurally sound.”

Because of its proximity to the skate park and the Woodland pool, and with so many public events that happen at the park, city officials were afraid the tree would fall over.

Some of the trees logs will be taken to the arboretum for visitors to sit and climb on. Three other trees at Woodland Park suffering from decay will also be removed and replaced with healthy trees.

Lexington native Brenna Angel anchored local morning newscasts for WUKY through May 13. She joined the station in March 2010 after previously working for WHAS-AM in Louisville.