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Despite protests, 100-year-old tree cut down in Wisconsin

(NBC15)
Published: Feb. 27, 2016 at 9:25 PM CST
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WHITEHALL, Wis. (AP) -- Some residents of Whitehall are criticizing a decision to cut down a 100-year-old pine tree in their western Wisconsin town.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation said the tree was a traffic safety hazard. Officials determined last fall the tree blocked the line of sight for motorists crossing the intersection of Highway 53 and railroad tracks.

But some residents said the tree had irreplaceable value in their community. Wisconsin Public Radio (http://bit.ly/1QkorTZ ) reports residents gathered Friday as state workers cut down the pine.

Mary Richter of the Save Our Tree Task Force said residents felt removing the landmark was unnecessary.

While WisDOT plans to install new lights and traffic arms at the intersection, project development supervisor Tim Mason says the precautions are not enough.

The pine originally was transplanted in 1928.