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TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI)- The trees at the fairgrounds have officially come down.

The trees are believed to have stood for more than 200 years. When the fairgrounds took over the land of wood, it caused damage to the tree’s growth. Now these trees are being re purposed to teach us some history of the land.
Mike Saunders is a hardwood expert and Natural Resource Professor at Purdue. He says it’s sad that the trees had to come down but he’s making this a positive situation by using it to look at what may have happened years ago on the land. “I think there’s a story to tell both scientifically and to the public on what these trees are here and how they came into being and give them their life story of the trees,” said Saunders.
Saunders uses a scanner that can determine the lands history by looking at the length and width of each ring. “We can look at what past climate was. We can also determine whether or not the trees grew in a closed canopy forest or if it grew out in the open based on the patterns we see in the growth in the rings,” said Saunders.
Some community members have expressed sadness seeing these trees go. But Saunders said the neck of woods just down the road by Central Catholic are similar trees still standing. He says those are worth preserving.
The tree reading process can take months. But Saunders plans to share all his findings in one way or another.
“It would be nice to put up a sign out here at some point to talk about what happened with these trees and how old the stand was,” said Sanders.

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The Fruit of the Gods from an Indiana Tree?

Image of Persimoon
Ripe persimmon, Photo: Rebekah D. Wallace, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

The American persimmon tree’s scientific name, Diospyros virginiana, is loosely interpreted “divine fruit” or “fruit of the gods” of Virginia. If you have tasted a ripe persimmon on a crisp fall day, you might agree with that assessment. Several persimmon tree species are found in both the new and old world and have been used for food and wood products for centuries. Our American persimmon is native to the southern half of Indiana but can survive in the northern half of the state as well.  Click here for more.

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