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Camphor tree in Midtown Sacramento to be cut down as fungus hinders growth

5:52 PM, Aug 9, 2012   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, CA - In the city of trees, one might call the famous camphor a matriarch of trees.

A note hugs the camphor tree's truck saying thanks and so long. Other visitors are stopping by for one last look.

"It made me sad, that something that's been here for so long has to come down," Tree Admirer Sue Smrekar said.

"It's a shame, cause it's a gorgeous tree," Tree Admirer Kelcey Ham said.

The century-old camphor has called the corner of 18 th Street and Capitol Avenue home since 1886. As old age takes its toll on humans, trees get sick too.

The camphor is dying.

"It's a fungus called verticillium wilt and it's long and complicated," Sacramento's Urban Forest Manager said Joe Benassini.

The disease clogs the roots keeping water and nutrients from traveling through the tree. It's hard to imagine chopping down a tree in a city known for them. City works cut down more than 100 trees a year for structural issues or diseases.

Rick Stevenson likes to think of the tree as a family member. After all, his grandfather planted it.

"He passed away before I was born, fun to have things from time last that long," Stevenson said.

As it's days are numbered, tree huggers, history buffs, even shade seekers are coming to terms with the tree's farewell.

"It's the nature of the universe, everything comes into the universe hangs and ceases to exist," Ham said.

"It had a good long life, saw a lot, shaded a lot of people, you can't expect more," Stevenson said.

The tree is set for demolition on Aug. 22. The wood may be preserved for a park bench or handed over to the Urban Wood Rescue program. The program sells or gives to local craftsmen.

News10/KXTV

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