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Historic Tree in Balboa Park to be Cut Down

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

Workers will cut down a giant sugar gum tree today in Balboa park. The tree is over 100 feet high and stands in front of the Old Globe Theater. It was planted during the great depression. Reporter David Nogueras has more.

Park officials were worried a giant section of the tree might fall and hit someone. They decided to cut it down, once they determined it would be impossible to remove the section without killing the tree.

Debbie Ballard is the associate production manager at the Old Globe Theater. She says she's sad to see the tree go. 

Ballard: I love the tree, cause you see it everywhere you park every and every walkway you come up you see it. We're all going to miss it. It's like a family member. It's been a good tree.

Ballard has worked at the Old Globe for 28 years. That's only a little more than a third of the tree's life. In that time, it's become a monument in the park. And Ballard says, "It's just tall and beautiful everyday." 

Balboa Park officials haven't said what they'll do with the space. A consultant recommends planting two trees in its place.

For KPBS, I'm David Nogueras

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