Farewell to a Champion: Leland's Prize Cottonwood coming down

Farewell Champion ~ You Will Be Missed

The Leelanau Enterprise reports that this week the 90′ champion cottonwood near the corner of River and Lake streets will be taken down. The tree is estimated to be 109 years old, and clones of the tree have already been planted on north Lake Leelanau at the John Suelzer Memorial East Leland Park in East Leland.

According to the Leland Report, the operation starts today and Annie at Aurora Borealis Designs shared the photo to the right.

Trish P has a great memorial. She writes:

Yes. We are tree-huggers. People stare and point but we don’t care. For years we have hugged our favorite tree in all of Michigan. A Champion in Leland, well over 100 years old. Think about it. This tree was likely here during WWI! It has stood the test of time against savage Lake Michigan weather, pavement and a boardwalk over its water-gathering roots, and droves of people walking by without even noticing it!

There was talk a few years back of taking it down. A foundation was formed, an arborist hired and it was given a little more time. Lately though, it’s been losing more and more branches and struggling to leaf out. It’s really at the end of its life and sadly, next month it will be taken down. Downtown Leland will not look the same.

It’s really something to see in person. Hope you had a chance!

Someday there may be another Champion due to science!

Group Prepares Champion Tree Clones.

Again I am reminded that we are not just taking photos. We are recording history. Perhaps not earth shattering events, but history nonetheless.