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Apr 30, 2015 5:49 PM

Portsmouth couple says good-bye to beloved 300-year-old beech tree


PORTSMOUTH - After a lifetime raising a family under the reassuring branches of a now 300-year-old copper beech tree, a local family is coming to terms with need to remove their aged companion.

"We have lived here for 40 years and the tree was old then," homeowner Steve Munton told Seacoastonline.com. "We so hoped to save it. We sought help from the University of New Hampshire, from tree specialists and Portsmouth arborist Jeff Ott."

But the old tree outside the Munton's home on Maplewood Avenue has become a hazard and needs to come down. A tree removal company was expected to complete the work this week.

"The tree had surgery two times. We used cables to support it," Greta Munton said. "We had to take down the swing my granddaughters used. We finally had to make this decision a couple of weeks ago that it had to go."

The decision wasn't an easy one. Steve Munton said the copper beech was the backdrop for numerous family events. "Our kids climbed it," he said. "We shot pictures of weddings and proms there. There was a never a time the tree wasn't part of things."

Since the tree is coming down, Greta Munton said her hope is that other uses can be found for the wood.

"I'd like to save some of the wood and use it to make furniture some time down the road," said Tony Furina, a partner in the New England Tree Service of Kittery, Maine, which is cutting down the tree.

In addition, Greta Munton will preserve the memories of the old tree in a poem.

"Farewell tree. You will always be a part of our families memories," she wrote.


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