FREDONIA - A tree planted in 1821 by Dr. Squire White, the first licensed physician in Chautauqua County, stood proudly in front of the White Inn in Fredonia until Monday, when it had to be cut down.
The sugar maple was registered as the oldest sugar maple in Chautauqua County. It had a plaque on its trunk to mark its historic prominence.
On Saturday evening, a large limb fell from the tree, blocking the sidewalk and part of East Main Street. While the limb was quickly cleaned up by a tree service crew, the tree became a safety risk.
Jason Selig of Selig Tree Removal was able to fit inside what was registered as the oldest sugar maple tree in Chautauqua County. After a large limb from the tree fell Saturday evening, the tree had to come down for safety purposes.
Photo by Diane Chodan
"Obviously, I'm not happy about this," said Jeff Gambino, who with his wife Melanie owns the White Inn. "We had to have the rest of the tree cut down. The whole inside of it was hollow."
"A person inside the tree could look up and see the sky," Mrs. Gambino said.
One of the workmen said that the tree had been reinforced with concrete.
Jason Selig of Selig Tree Removal, cut a section of the tree around the plaque off. The original plaque for the tree was found, with the Gambinos now having two plaques from the tree.
"Our idea is to create something (in the White Inn) so that everyone can come see it. It is a part of the history of our community," Mrs. Gambino said.
Gambino said they plan to replant a tree in the space.