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Venerable elm tree finally succumbs to Dutch elm disease

November 2, 2016
In this photo taken Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, participants in a "tree hugging ceremony" gather around an elm tree, believed to be the largest of its kind in New England, before it is cut down in Charlotte, Vt., after the tree died of Dutch elm disease, a fungus that killed millions of elm trees after it arrived in North America in the last century. The wood from the tree will be turned into furniture and other items. The funds will be used to help The Nature Conservancy replant disease resistant elm trees. (Tai Dinnan/Vermont Tree Goods via AP)
In this photo taken Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, participants in a "tree hugging ceremony" gather around an elm tree, believed to be the largest of its kind in New England, before it is cut down in Charlotte, Vt., after the tree died of Dutch elm disease, a fungus that killed millions of elm trees after it arrived in North America in the last century. The wood from the tree will be turned into furniture and other items. The funds will be used to help The Nature Conservancy replant disease resistant elm trees. (Tai Dinnan/Vermont Tree Goods via AP)

CHARLOTTE, Vt. (AP) — A venerable old elm tree that’s believed to be the largest of its kind in New England has finally succumbed to Dutch elm disease in the Vermont town of Charlotte.

The tree was 19 feet 4 inches in circumference and stood 109 feet tall.

Dutch elm disease is the fungus that spread during the early 20th century and destroyed most of the elm trees in North America. The tree in Vermont was removed Tuesday.

Property owner David Garrett says the tree, estimated at 175 to 200 years old, was a local “monument.”

The wood will be used to make furniture and other items, and their sale proceeds will be used to help The Nature Conservancy’s efforts to restore the elm population by developing disease-resistant strains of the trees.

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This story has been corrected to show the age estimate is 175 to 200 years old, not 250 to 300 years old.

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