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Herbie gets 1-day stay of execution; Yarmouth elm to be removed Tuesday

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Herbie gets 1-day stay of execution; Yarmouth elm to be removed Tuesday

YARMOUTH — Monday's snow storm gave Yarmouth's beloved elm tree, Herbie, one more day to stand.

The 110-foot tree at the corner of Yankee Lane and East Maine Street is now scheduled to be removed Tuesday, Jan. 19.

"I wonder if Herbie was fighting for one more day," tree warden Debbie Hopkins said.

The tree is estimated to be about 240 years old and was cared for by Frank Knight, Yarmouth's previous tree warden, for more than 50 years. Knight, now 101, has saved Herbie from Dutch elm disease 14 times, but the tree has finally been taken over by the disease.

Hopkins and Knight have created a tree trust in honor of the giant tree and will replace the elm with new, disease-resistant elms and other trees.

In addition to spectators who are expected to visit the work site as Herbie is removed, Hopkins said tree wardens from around the state and members of the Maine Forest Service will be present.

Forester Peter Lammert will count the rings to determine Herbie's age, and other staff members will be available to answer questions and talk about tree biology and Dutch elm disease.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net