For several years, Keith Jordan looked out his front room window and admired a huge tree on the horizon about a mile away in Lee’s Summit.
It grew in a pasture and he could see its great domed canopy etched against the sky. Jordan’s house is on a ridge in rural Cass County. Looking north he sees new subdivisions popping up in the suburb.
Then one recent Sunday, he noticed the tree was gone. He’d wanted to point it out to his son, who was visiting.
“I’m not a tree hugger, I’m not crying about it, but it’s a shame to see it go down,” Jordan said.
He said he’s not against progress but is saddened by the loss of the elm tree he thinks might be 100 or 200 years old. He thought a lot of history might have passed by that tree, with Quantrill’s Raiders riding the territory during the Civil War era.
It had massive girth and was about 85 feet tall, he said. He is awed by the huge ball of unearthed roots that towers over his head.
Jordan is thinking of trying to salvage a hunk of log for a school or library, where children could look at the log’s tree rings. He said he’s contacting the developer to see if he can saw out a section.
The fallen tree is on land being developed on the northwest corner of Stoney Creek Drive and County Line Road on the southern edge of Lee’s Summit. The development company is grading for streets and adding infrastructure to sell lots.
David Price, vice-president of GriffenRiley Investments LLC, said in a telephone interview that his company, which is building the subdivision, would be open to letting someone save a log.
He said trees enhance property values in neighborhoods and noted the company is leaving other trees on the property and along a creek.
That lone elm had indications of disease, he said, and nearby construction could damage its roots, which also could kill it.
When such a large tree dies near a house, it is a major headache for a homeowner to remove, he said.
“That’s why we elected to take it out down,” Price said. “You don’t just arbitrarily go out and zap a tree.”