Roger Allen says he’s excited to break ground on a home to replace one destroyed by the 2011 tornado, but it’s bittersweet because he had to cut down an 80-year-old elm tree that had become a landmark after the tornado.
The storm twisted the elm almost 180 degrees, and a 6-foot pole went through the center. The roof of someone’s home was wrapped around the trunk.
About 300 people stopped and visited the tree during the cleanup, in part because it was the only tree in the area that survived the storm, Allen said.
The Joplin Globe reports that Allen wanted to save the tree, but it was too damaged.
The elm was removed Saturday, but the pole will be put in the new home.