By Andrew Setters
A tree that may have been standing watch over the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood for more than 200 years is coming down.
The aging linden tree is being brought down because of concerns that it could fall and injure someone.
"The technical term for what was wrong with the tree is Ganoderma, and it's actually a root rot issue, so it's a major structural issue underneath the ground," said Zachary Napier, with 3CDC.
Over the last several years, they've monitored the tree and tried to save it with no luck.
"We've gone as far as securing some of the limbs because we've known that it's had some minor issues for a few years now, and it's gotten to the point where it's become a very big safety concern," Napier said.
Safety is a major issue because of the number of people who visit Washington Park and because the tree sits over the Porch, one of the more popular gathering spots.
While the tree is coming down, it won't be entirely gone. Some of the limbs are being chipped into mulch, which will go back into city parks.
Several large pieces will be saved and made into furniture, like benches, that will stay in the park.
That is even more important, because the tree carries a plaque honoring Joanne Burton, who was struck by a police cruiser in the park and killed in 2010.
Napier said the Parks Department is contacting her family to let them know the tree is coming down and they find another way to honor her.
"We're going to incorporate it into some of the furniture, as long as the family is on board with that to keep that plaque and memory around inside the park as well," Napier said.
The beer garden in Washington Park has also created a special drink they're calling "The Giving Tree."
A dollar from each drink goes to benefit Green Umbrella, which promotes sustainability around Cincinnati.