Amid opposition, beloved 'Lunds & Byerlys tree' in Richfield comes down

One estimate says the oak was up to 200 years old.
Oak tree at Richfield Lunds & Byerlys

With the removal of an unusually large oak tree from a Lunds & Byerlys parking lot, a Richfield landmark is no more.

The tree, located at 6228 Penn Ave S, was on the chopping block due to a new housing development going in near the store; according to city documents, developers had hoped to save the tree, though it appears to have been taken down as a result of infrastructural upgrades at the site. 

This is despite a community effort to save the old oak. There was a Change.org position that gathered hundreds of signatures and a "Save the Lunds and Byerlys Oak Tree" group launched by Sandi Spanier on Facebook.

A Friday post from the page informed its followers that the tree had been cut down.

An announcement from Lunds & Byerlys Richfield explains that the oak's removal was necessary to make way for the construction project — which will bring about 130 "highly sought-after" residential units as well as a store remodel. The post explains that it's all part of "the revitalization taking place all along Penn Avenue":

In a recent post on the "Save the Tree" Facebook group, Spanier said she spoke to the arborist who'd been caring for the tree for the last 20 years, and found out that the oak was an estimated 150-200 years old.

Oak tree at Richfield Lunds & Byerlys

Spanier says the arborist, who was apparently not informed about the development plan, brought the tree back from the brink in the 1990s, and that Lunds & Byerlys has spent thousands of dollars on its maintenance since. 

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