A majestic 40-foot-high black walnut tree - cut down after protests and a court battle to save it - has been put to good use, a developer says.
Elizabeth Carlin and her family waged a 12-day fight for the tree straddling the property line between her home and a shopping center site. They were able to turn aside chain saws on one occasion and twice stopped a backhoe's assault on the tree by climbing into its branches.But a week ago, a district judge lifted a restraining order keeping the tree up when it was determined the tree would not recover from its earlier chain saw cuts.
By this past weekend, the tree's carcass had been hauled off in pieces and is now stacked in a Clearfield yard. Demand for the dead wood was immediate.
One man wanted it to whittle into expensive little boxes. Another wanted it so his father could carve it into statues. But the Big D Construction Co. superintendent at the shopping center site said the tree was turned over to the sentimental favorite, a retired building contractor who plans to turn it into expensive furniture.
"We put it to good use," Jon Wood-ling said. "It isn't going to be coming out of somebody's chimney."
The tree was turned over to Wendell Zaugg of Clearfield, who said the tree will provide him parts for his one-man custom woodworking business for four or five years - once he completes about two years worth of drying, milling and otherwise preparing the wood.
Zaugg said he plans to carve some kind of memento out of the wood both for the shopping center builders and the Carling family.