Dozens watch as historic 'Moses Cleaveland Tree' removed for safety

LAKEWOOD, OH (WOIO) - One of Ohio's largest and oldest trees that has been around since before George Washington became president was chopped down Thursday.

The Moses Cleaveland oak tree is on Summit Avenue near Clifton Boulevard in Lakewood. It's named after the founder of the city of Cleveland.

"it's just a shame that a Lakewood Icon is coming down," Shaun Murphy said.

It's believed to be more than 200 years old, or more than double the age of the Cleveland Indians, was likely planted in the 1750s.

Age and the environment are factors in the tree's removal. City leaders were worried that the tree could come crashing down to the ground at any moment.

"If the tree were in the middle of the park, they could just put up a fence around it and leave it. Because it's on a street where there's a church on one end and a school at the other, it's just too dangerous," John Palmer said.

In recent decades, the city of Lakewood took several measures to try to preserve the tree, such as a crown reduction and cable installations, but it is still a safety concern.

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