Police identify tree worker killed in Chesterfield

Crews scheduled to remove a century old ‘piece of history’ in Church Hill

RICHMOND, Va. -- A towering elm believed to be more than a century old was scheduled to be demolished on Thursday.

Richmond City Public Works crews posted the removal notice on the giant tree that looms near the intersection of East Clay and North 24th Streets.

"Decay, structural defects" were listed as the reasons why the more than 100-year-old tree will be removed.

Its branches intertwine with power lines and stretch to the property across East Clay.

Word of the demolition spread on social media with numerous neighbors upset about the news.

"I took their presence for granted. I hope this message will help you to notice the trees in our neighborhood and the small touch of nature each one shares with us," Amanda Crouch posted on Facebook.

One neighbor commented, "It's like losing a good neighbor."

"A piece of history leaving us," remarked one woman on the Nextdoor app.

Richmond Tree Stewards said five separate arborists looked at the tree and came to the same conclusion - the tree must come down.

Zack Zorn, who lives across the street from the elm, called the removal bittersweet.

"It kind of helps you not feel like it’s a concrete jungle," he stated. "It’s purpose has been served and maybe it’s time for a new tree that won’t potentially crush a car the next time the ground gets saturated."

Drivers were also instructed not to park along East Clay Street near the tree on Thursday between 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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