Dangerous tree removed from cemetery

By courtesy of Paul Benson

By Abby Hoover

In the northeast corner of Elmwood Cemetery stood a tall, very old bur oak tree. It grew there as families laid loved ones to rest, provided shade to visitors, weathered storms and annually shed golden leaves. The tree was likely there when the cemetery began in 1872, but was felled last week.

Last year, volunteers and stewards of the cemetery noticed the tree had developed a vertical crack in its trunk, and the problem continued to worsen.

“We had it inspected by local arborist Molly Gosnell, and she concluded that it is now in such dangerous condition that removal is necessary,” said John Weilert, Elmwood Cemetery Society Board of Trustees Vice President. “It is over 100 ft. tall, and it could potentially fall into the intersection of 12th and Van Brunt.”

It was a very expensive task removing such a large tree from such tight quarters.

Gosnell, a certified arborist, referred the group to the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) for possible financial assistance from MDC’s TRIM grant program. Gosnell ultimately prepared the TRIM grant application for Elmwood Cemetery Society.

Fortunately for the nonprofit group, MDC approved funds to make it possible for them to proceed. Throughout the process, MDC’s Wendy Sangster was the group’s point of contact. 

“We simply could not have moved forward on this project without MDC’s assistance,” Weilert said. “The grant was approved, and MDC funded the lion’s share of the tree removal.”

The two-day project began March 31. Van Brunt Boulevard was closed for two days along the eastern wall of the cemetery. Walker Tree Service was selected by the Elmwood Cemetery Society for the job.

“The tree was located close to the intersection of 12th Street and Van Brunt Boulevard, and was surrounded by many century-old graves,” Weilert said. “Difficult circumstances. [Johnathan] Walker chose to use a crane to lift all the pieces of the tree up, over the wall, and out of the cemetery. The wood fit for milling was then transported to Urban Lumber. Walker’s performance on this task was excellent.”

This year, Elmwood Cemetery will celebrate its 150th anniversary of the founding of the 43-acre cemetery that was landscaped by George Kessler, the landscape architect and engineer who was a driving force in creating Kansas City’s park and boulevard system.

“We are having a celebration on the grounds on October 1, 2022,” Weilert said. “We’re thinking a tree planting in the spot of the original bur oak would be appropriate.”

To honor the legacy of this historic tree, Elmwood Cemetery Society arranged for the wood to be taken to Urban Lumber to be milled into lumber.

“It’s a fitting way the tree can have a future,” Weilert said. “Our board has even discussed having a new conference table made from the lumber.”

Urban Lumber’s Tim O’Neill explained that it takes one year to dry one inch of wood, so the group will have to be patient, but that’s okay with them. They have plenty to do at Elmwood while they wait.

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • 250: City Council Candidate Justin Short

    August 13th, 2022
    by

    On this week’s episode of the Northeast Newscast, we’re joined by Justin Short, candidate for City Council’s Fourth District at-large. […]


    One dead in double shooting at Indep/Maple Blvds

    August 13th, 2022
    by

    Kansas City MO police are reporting a double shooting that left one person dead at the BP station at Independence […]


    KCPS Hosts Summerfest Event

    August 12th, 2022
    by

    For the second year, Kansas City Public Schools and the KCPS Education Foundation are partnering with area public health providers […]


    An Artistic Day at 12th & Benton

    August 11th, 2022
    by

    It was all hands on deck today at the 12th & Benton intersection traffic calming project. Artists, students and project […]


    KC “movie cars” on display in Branson

    August 10th, 2022
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Who ya gonna call, when you need to go back in time? Joe Pace, that’s who. Pace, […]


    Missouri Bicentennial Quilt takes its last stop at the SHSMO Kansas City Research Center

    August 10th, 2022
    by

    EllieAna Hale Editorial Assistant The Missouri Bicentennial Quilt has been a part of Kansas City’s deep history and celebrates KC […]


    Some voters confused by changes to polling locations, district boundaries

    August 10th, 2022
    by

    Bryan Stalder Contributor Tuesday, August 2 was the Missouri Primary Election. Voters were asked to select a ballot for the […]


    New Ambassador Wellness Program aims to inform Kansas City about health

    August 10th, 2022
    by

    Aniaya Reed Editorial Assistant This past June, the Kansas City Health Department started the Ambassador Wellness Program to assist residents […]


  • Show Me KC Schools, Samuel U. Rodgers Host Second Bounce Back to School Event

    August 6th, 2022
    by

    Back for its second year, Show Me KC Schools and Samuel U. Rodgers will host the Bounce Back to School […]


    Kansas City’s Most Wanted

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    KC Crime Stoppers has partnered with The Kansas City’s Northeast News to help track local KC individuals on the Kansas […]


    LEC advocates for more Latinx educators

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    By Aniaya Reed Edgar Palacios, President/CEO founded LEC (Latinx Education Collaborative) in 2018. His goal for his non-profit organization is […]


    Knowledge is Power Program moves forward

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    By Aniaya Reed KIPP: Endeavor Academy, a tuition-free, open-enrollment public school, opened its doors in Kansas City in 2007 as […]


    Janet Raymer named 2021-2022 Frontier School District Teacher of the Year

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    By EllieAna Hale This 2021-2022 Frontier School District Teacher of the Year award was granted to Janet Raymer, a seventh-grade […]


    Frontier receives $250,000 Kauffman grant

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    By Aniaya Reed The Frontier School of Innovation, through the New Frontier Educational Foundation, will benefit from the Kauffman Foundation’s […]


    Gordon Parks Elementary School strives to elevate student success

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    By EllieAna Hale Being one of the first charter schools in the Kansas City, Mo., area, Gordon Parks Elementary School […]


    Headstart Home-Based open opportunities for all parents

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    By EllieAna Hale The Family Conservancy (TFC) has continually created sustainable education, and resource programs to provide equitable opportunities for […]


    Burned mobile home mess abated by county

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    A little over a day after the charred remains of an abandoned mobilehome moved from the old Heart Village Mobile […]


    Holy Cross Catholic School to break ground on new Community Center in 2022

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    By EllieAna Hale Holy Cross School on Quincy Avenue plans to break ground this summer on the construction of a […]


    2022 Back To School issue

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below! Enter your email address and click on […]


    Election results of note from the August 2nd Primary Election

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    The results are in from yesterday’s Primary election and the resultspromise some highly contested battles shaping up for the November […]


  • Faces Of Northeast


  • Remember This?

    Remember This?

    August 10th, 2022
    by

  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.