Historic, and obstructive, trees removed

Friday, July 26, 2013

BERRYVILLE -- It marked the end of a natural landmark -- but also a dangerous nuisance to motorists.

Two very large trees (estimated to be about 100 or more years old) along U.S. 62 on the vacant lot at Karl Street came down on Thursday. The beautiful trees stood as sentinels in front of the house owned by late, lifelong resident Haleen Hyde.

The house was demolished a few years after she died. Hyde would not even consider allowing the trees to be removed -- even though they blocked motorists' view there and were considered by many to be hazardously in the way.

Berryville folklore has it that when U.S. 62 was widened to four lanes, a small jog was added to the plans to accommodate the trees.

"My grandfather planted those trees and they'll cut them down over my dead body," she reportedly said.

And stood they did -- in the face of widening the highway, new power lines and a sidewalk.

A crew from Asplundh, a nationwide tree-removal service with an office in Harrison, took down the trees under the directive of the Arkansas Highway Department.

As it turned out, both trees were rotted and hollow on the inside, from top to bottom.

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