The historic Pow-Wow Oak, in Lowell, Massachusetts, has been removed. Depite the efforts by local Native Americans and the Pow-Wow Oak Protectors group, the tree was taken down May 22.
The tree was deemed a safety hazard by Lowell officials after a massive branch of the centuries old oak split off and collapsed onto power line wires. Subsequent examination determined that there was extensive interior decay, comprising the health of the tree, and making it a hazard for the safety of those who might pass by it.
The tree was more than 300 years old, said to have been standing as early as 1700. The Wamesit Indians gathered around the tree to hold their pow wows, giving rise to the oak's name.
The Pow-Wow Oak Protectors group has preserverd some parts of the tree and are hoping to reproduce it asexually. It's also possible that life will spring anew from the remaining stump and root system. Suggestions for how to use the recovered wood from the cut-down tree include tables, chessboards, a totem pole and a drum, suggested by local Native Americans.
The protectors group is unhappy with how quickly the city acted, saying that the rot was not so extensive and that efforts to improve the health of the mighty oak should have been attempted.
“We’re all just in shock that they took it all down,” George Koumantzelis, founder of the Pow Wow Oak Protectors, told the Tewksbury Town Crier.