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Giant beech to come down

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: August 23, 2012

One of Akron's gentle giants has reached the end of its life.

The massive copper-leaf European beech tree on the grounds of Akron's Perkins Stone Mansion has succumbed to a wilt and vascular disorder, the Summit County Historical Society reported in the latest issue of its newsletter, Portage Trail Review.

The tree is believed to have been planted around 1837 by Col. Simon Perkins, the son of Akron's founder and the builder of the mansion at Copley Road and South Portage Path.The tree stands next to the gate in a stone wall along the property's Copley Road side.

The beech is one of the highlights of a historical tree tour the society promotes on the mansion's grounds. The mansion and grounds are maintained by the historical society and serve as its headquarters.

A plaque on the tree's trunk notes it was named the largest tree of its kind in Summit County in 1958. At the time it measured 68 feet tall and 13 feet 8 inches around the trunk at a height 5 feet above the ground, and it's grown substantially since. 

Arborists Ron Dawson and Jeff Stewart worked under the supervision of city arborist Bill Hahn to save the tree, but the treatments were unsuccessful, the newsletter said.

Removing the tree will be complicated and expensive, the society said. It is looking for donations to cover the cost or an organization willing to donate its expertise to remove it. 

 

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