Tree to be removed from the Guernsey County Courthouse Square

Local News Stories

CAMBRIDGE, Ohio- A historic sycamore tree has stood on the grounds at the Guernsey County Courthouse here in Cambridge, Ohio for over 140 years.

Limb from sycamore tree discovered on 8/10/22

The county commissioners said the tree is a liability to the public. Their vote was 2-1 for cutting the tree down. 

The commissioners explained that this was not an easy decision for them to make. They say the tree has a lot of historic value, but at this point it is a safety issue. 

Guernsey County Commissioner, Skip Gardner, expressed his concerns with the tree.

“We’re coming into the particular part of the year, November/December where the largest population will be under that tree of any other part of the year. So a lot of the time it’s at night and it’s dark. If a limb comes flying out of there in the dark and hits somebody and severely injures them or potentially kills them, I don’t want that to happen on my watch- that really bothers me,” Gardner said.

A Cambridge County resident, Tim Bennett, explained his concern about the tree over the phone. 

He said that life has risk, and he would rather the beautiful, 200-year-old tree remain standing. He also claims that sycamore trees can live to be 400 years old. 

While the tree was deemed healthy by a certified arborist, the county commissioners say they have an upcoming event that packs the lawn. Commissioner Marlin explained their decision. 

“We’re here to protect and serve. It’s on county property. It is an old tree, we all understand that. We’ve had two or three limbs fall in the square. One was from another tree but two off of the sycamore. In the past, they had another tree limb fall off the sycamore and it actually did damage to a car but that was way before me. But the thing is, though it’s in a confined space, there’s a lot of tree up there and a lot of people filter in and out of there each and every day.” Marlin said.  

The commissioners say they hate to see a piece of history go, but they have to be realistic. 

The tree will be replaced with a similar species eventually and commissioners say they will get a professional opinion from an arborist on the best time to plant the tree. 

The commissioners also say when the tree is cut down on October 6th it will also open up the view of the beautiful courthouse building.

Limb from sycamore discovered on 8/29/22