Much of southern Wisconsin used to be Oak Savanna in which the near-indestructible and slow-growing bur oak was widespread, but one Civil War-era beauty is coming down so WisDOT can widen State Highway 26 near Janesvile:
Some day this spring, people with saws will come to slash the mighty trunk. They will fell the tree to make room for the highway expansion north of Milton to Fort Atkinson.But this is the Wisconsin of Walker and the road-builders, so kiss this living piece of state heritage good-bye.
The trunk measures 13 feet around and supports a stack of stretching limbs...with its wide-open crown and elegant symmetry of branches, is about as perfect a tree as nature ever made. This tree might have tickled the bellies of Ho-Chunk horses. This tree somehow survived the ax and dodged the farmer's plow time and time again.
We do have our priorities around here.
Here's one such tree courtesy of the Missouri Botanical Gardens website:
"Bur oak or mossycup oak is one of the most majestic of the native North American oaks."