JOPLIN, Mo. — Big rigs and heavy equipment converged on the north end of Wildcat Park Monday morning, March 13, 2023, near the spring to address the large sycamore tree that had collapsed against the cliff last week.
For years the tree leaned famously — and precariously. But last week as kids were climbing on it — which is normal — it leaned more with a large CRACK! And it fell against the cliff.
“Very dangerous,” says Lauren Copple, of Outer Oaks, Forestry Consulting. “It wasn’t a matter of if, it was going to happen, but when, it was going to happen.”
“You never want to have concrete around the root base of a tree. That affects the overall health.”
Copple is a certified arborist, one of only a few in the area. Her company does tree consulting. The city of Joplin has hired her to bring a team together quickly today to remove this large tree.
The tree had been leaning a long time, or grew at a slant, it is unknown. However after cracking last week? “It’s dangerous the way it’s leaning there against the cliff. It’s been like this all weekend," Copple said.
By noon the tree was on the ground and then it was being cut down into pieces for transport.
Estimates are the sycamore is about 80 years old. But it’s not the end of the road for this giant. Copple says different groups are going to give the tree new life.
“We are trying to use as much of the tree as we can!”
Click to read more on Outer Oaks Forestry Consulting. From site selection and planting to chemical application Outer Oaks will always put the needs of your tree first. The offer tree selection and planting, chemical treatments, and tree trimming and strategic removal.
Shannon Becker was born and raised in Joplin and began in radio before graduating from Joplin Senior High in 1990. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Missouri Southern State University (1994). Before launching Joplin News First in 2017, he worked in television and radio, overlapping a career in the music industry. He worked with major music artists for 20 years, garnering gold and platinum records to his credit. He comes to KOAM 7 News Now-CBS/FOX (Morgan-Murphy Media) with more than 30 years in media and entertainment. He previously worked for KOAM. He has five children and two grandchildren.