160-year-old solid oak to be cut at Madison UMC – The Madison Record
MADISON – With much disappointment from the congregation, an iconic tree estimated to be 160 years old is to be felled at Madison United Methodist Church at 127 Church Street.
The tree, a southern red oak, is located about 20 feet north of the sanctuary at the corner of Church and Arnett streets. Because the tree had shown signs of decline, the congregation asked arborists Stoney Gray, as well as Lee McBride, to examine it.
“Stoney and Lee McBride tested our tree. We wanted the congregation to have as much information as possible. The results were very bad, ”said Ronnie Williams. Williams has been a member of Madison UMC since the age of 12, and six generations of his family have been members of Madison Methodist.
“The tree has long been the hallmark of MUMC’s brand and will be sorely missed,” said Williams. A stained glass window represents the tree in the entrance to the sanctuary.
Gray shared his findings with the congregation at a special church conference led by Senior Pastor Reverend Dr. Travis Wilson on July 11.
Gray estimates that the tree’s weight ranges from 30,000 to 40,000 pounds. The tree is 160 years old and stood at the site before the Madison UMC congregation moved their church to the downtown site when men rolled the building up on logs from the current approximate location of Hughes Road and Old Madison Pike.
Arborists’ examination determined that 20 feet below the ground line and 40 feet above the ground were void of sound wood, except for an average of 4 inches around the circumference. The tree is 60 inches in diameter and about 107 feet tall.
“We drilled five holes in the trunk and holes in the roots and found a cavity inside the tree. The tree has pockets of rot, possibly caused by the loss of a limb, ”said Gray.
Estimates for cutting down the tree varied considerably from $ 6,800 to $ 30,000. The removal procedure will take approximately three days with the use of a crane. The church will ask the Madison Police Department to close the streets to ensure safety. Huntsville Utilities needs to redirect power lines.
“The town of Madison has been a huge help,” said Williams.
Church members discuss plans to plant a new tree. “We have also started a campaign to cover the expenses of removing the trees,” said Williams. Anyone who wants to help cover the cost of removing and replacing the tree can send checks to Madison United Methodist Church, 127 Church Street, Madison, AL 35758.
For more information, call 256-772-9761, email [email protected], or visit madisonum.org.