The “Gossip Tree” on the Motherhouse campus has heard its last story beneath its branches, as tree trimmers took down the giant maple on July 30, 2018.
The tree near the Guest House has been a fixture on the campus as long as any current Ursuline Sister has been alive. It was estimated to be at least 125 years old, welcoming sisters and students at the former Mount Saint Joseph Academy to rest under its shade and talk about their day. The tree had become unhealthy and there was concern it may fall on some of the buildings. The Ursuline Sisters had a “Letting Go” service in the Motherhouse Chapel on May 23 to say goodbye.
The maintenance staff had been waiting for dry enough weather to bring the heavy tree trimming equipment to campus, so the machinery did not damage the grounds. July 30 was that day, with the sound of chain saws buzzing shortly after morning Mass was concluded.
The long branch that ran parallel to the ground — and defied gravity for years — was preserved to use for keepsakes. The rest of the tree was chipped on site or was taken off campus.
Here are some pictures from the day.