Heavy rains have ruined a majestic Hampden-Sydney tree and everyone is upset

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The beloved oak tree at Hampden-Sydney College will be removed for safety, and people are having strong reactions to the news.

“The tree has become unstable and is leaning dangerously after days of rain have left the ground too soft to support the weight,” the college said.

Many students and alumni very obviously feel a great connection to the tree and were saddened to hear of its current state. They beseeched the college to repurpose the wood from it in some way.

Alex Crouch said: “The caution tape is already up. From the picture it appears to be leaning away from Graham hall. Can’t the College wait and see how the tree will settle once the soil drys up?”

Connie Hedgepeth said: “are there no counter support measures that can be taken to allow the grounds to dry? Please consider EVERY option before cutting such a treasure.”

John Taylor Kroencke said: “It would be wonderful if the bookstore could utilize the wood in some way.”

Meaghan Keeler Hogan said: “The wood could be used to make pens and other things, much like the Fletcher Oak at Sweet Briar.”

James Patterson said:  “Loved the majesty the tree brought when I taught there. I hope they find a new one worthy of the college.”

Terri Woodington Leitner said: “Very sad. That tree is so majestic.”

The men’s college was founded in 1775, one year before America was even a country.


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