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Northern Catalpa tree removed from the Botanical Garden

2 years 46 weeks ago
As a museum which displays and curates living specimens, we are often faced with the unfortunate reality of having to de-accession one of our living specimens. We made the difficult decision, after several thorough examinations, to remove our Northern Catalpa tree, Catalpa speciosa, from the Young Flower Garden.  

The normal life span of a Northern Catalpa tree is approximately 60 years. Through archival research, we determined that ours has lived to be at least 75 years old. As part of our regular tree monitoring process, our professional arborists noted significant and widespread decay in the tree this year. They determined that, because of this decay, it fell well below our threshold for risk and deemed it unsafe to visitors, staff, and to the other plant collections found in the Young Flower Garden. As a result, this tree was recently removed.

This Catalpa has been around since the inception of Cornell Plantations, as such, removing it was a difficult decision and process to undertake. We will miss this beautiful tree and all the ways it has graced our garden over the years.

To learn more about how our arborists made this decision, watch this short video.


Catalpa Tree from Cornell Plantations on Vimeo.

Lead arborist Lee Dean (shown right) removing branches from the catalpa tree on November 2.