KATE BRENNER/Herald photo

Tree Removal on West Gorham

One of the oldest trees on the
University of Wisconsin campus will be chopped down because of
advanced Dutch Elm Disease.

Plans are currently underway for the
American elm on West Gorham Street to be removed due to an infection.

Common Council President Mike Verveer,
District 4, said the diseased tree was brought to his attention last
summer. Before any plans for removal were finalized, Verveer said he
brought in a certified arborist to determine whether there were any
other options.

"Unfortunately, the Dutch Elm Disease
had progressed too far along for the tree to be saved; it was too
late to apply chemical treatments," he said.

Verveer added he felt very saddened by
the news of the tree's removal, especially considering its 140-year

"The tree has obviously seen a lot
and outlived much of Madison — it has stood the test of time
throughout the history of the city," he said. "Since it's in
such a prominent location, I think that the tree will be missed."

According to Verveer, the city of
Madison is in the process of conducting a survey of other Elm trees
downtown to determine if they should receive chemical treatments to
stop the spread of the disease.

"These treatments have proven to be
effective much of the time. The UW spends money to treat Elm trees on
their property, particularly on Bascom Hill," Verveer said. "I
think it would be well worth it for other trees of this magnitude."

UW sophomore Richelle Andrae said she
is sad to see the tree go because it really adds to the look of the

"I think that it's nice to have as
much green in an urban area as possible — I think it's kind of
sad that a lot of Madison is just buildings," Andrae said. "It's
unfortunate that the tree is unhealthy, but hopefully a new tree will
be planted somewhere else."