Raindrops weren’t the only thing to hit the ground during last Tuesday’s storms. As the skies opened to bring the much needed precipitation, the pop-up shower resulted in an uprooted tree on the lawn of the Hillsborough Visitors Center. With its broad base and twirling branches, the mature tree welcomed downtown pedestrians from the corner of King Street and North Cameron for decades.
Maintenance crews from Orange County arrived on the scene Wednesday morning, spending 7 hours removing the debris and cleaning the area. Sections of the tree were salvaged and sent off to determine its proper age.
The majestic canopy of pines, oaks, and cedar trees is a defining feature of the Orange County area, and the protection of such beauties deeply rooted throughout the communities. Adopting some of the first tree ordinances in the state, one law, dating back to 1889, ruled cutting down a tree without proper protocol a misdemeanor offense. As part of the Arbor’s Day Foundation Tree City USA program, the town of Hillsborough takes tree preservation seriously, commissioning a tree board, tree care ordinance, and community forestry program. Spending $2 per capita on the replanting of trees, Hillsborough has been recognized for its work towards reversing the pollinator decline by Bee City USA. The Treasure Tree program was also developed to pay tribute to the historic limbed hardwoods of the town.
The leftover stump is a reminder to appreciate our surrounding landscape and these towering treasures.