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Wedding tree at Buffalo Rock taken down

Tree had been damaged from 2017 tornado

A popular Buffalo Rock State Park landmark has been removed, but its legacy will continue.

The White Oak known as the "wedding tree" because many couples have had their photos taken there, was downed earlier this week.

The tree was severely damaged by the tornado that hit Buffalo Rock, Naplate and Ottawa on Feb. 28, 2017. Half the tree was lost in that storm.

The remaining portion of the tree was inspected by Illinois Department of Natural Resources' Randy Timmons, natural resources specialist/forester, and it was found to have severe stump rot. Because of the amount of rot and the weight of the crown being significantly unbalanced, the tree was unable be salvaged, said Jill Jackson, natural resource specialist for I&M Canal State Trail that manages Buffalo Rock.

The remainder of the tree had died.

Initially, it was estimated the tree would come down within months after the storm. Several other trees in Buffalo Rock were downed by the 2017 tornado.

Last season, Timmons collected acorns from the tree and sent them to the state nursery to continue the legacy of the wedding tree, Jackson said. Those acorns will be replanted.

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