Known as “the protest tree,” this White Ash was well over 100 years old when in 2015 it showed “irrevocable deterioration” from disease and had to be taken down [Tim Stuhldreher, LNP, Sept. 30, 2015]. During the five previous decades however, it served “as the signpost for student conviction and free expression of ideas,” a college spokesperson noted. Declarations posted on the tree’s trunk addressed such issues as the Vietnam and Iraq wars, police misbehavior, and the retention of particular faculty.
Although a commemorative marker was initially contemplated, no trace of the tree remained in 2018. But a new protest tree (a Sweetgum; see separate entry) now stands a mere 40 feet away.
[Color photo by Richard Hertzler; b&w photo shows College President Keith Spalding in 1968.]
This amazing species readily forms trunk cavities if its top is broken and thus has great value to cavity nesters like red-headed, red-bellied, and pileated woodpeckers.