Giant Copper Beech Tree Planted By Teddy Roosevelt Has Been Chopped Down

Antony-22, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 4.0
Antony-22, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 4.0 / Antony-22, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 4.0

Sagamore Hill, the former home of Theodore Roosevelt and a current property of the U.S. National Park System, contains many of the game trophies the president hunted and collected during his lifetime. Until recently, it was also home to a living reminder of Roosevelt's love for nature: A giant copper beech tree he planted at the estate in the 1890s. As CBS New York reports, the tree has been chopped down after developing a fungal disease.

Located on Long Island, New York, Sagamore Hill was Roosevelt's home from 1885 until his death in 1919. He spent summers there with his family during his presidency, which earned it the nickname the "summer White House."

In 1894, Roosevelt planted a copper beech tree near the entrance of the Queen Anne-style home. It was a small reflection of his dedication to environmentalism: As president, he would set aside 200 million acres of land for national forests and wildlife refuges.

Today Sagamore Hill is a National Historic Site, and Roosevelt's tree had recently started posing a threat to visitors. Aged 125 years and diseased, the tree was approaching the end of its life, so site officials made the decision to take it apart branch by branch and remove it from the property.

The Theodore Roosevelt Association has plans to keep the memory of the tree alive at Sagamore Hill. The wood from the trunk will be saved and made into park benches that will be installed on the property. Some wood may be carved into replicas of the furniture at Sagamore Hill, which would then be auctioned off to raise funds for preservation projects.

Roosevelt's love of nature was just one aspect of the multifaceted president. He was also famous for his witty quotes—as evidenced by these savage insults.

[h/t CBS New York]