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Toppled Green Ash Tree Gets Second Life In Wilmette

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The oldest Green Ash tree in Illinois is being turned into a conference table, chairs and benches for Wilmette Village hall after being toppled by extreme summer winds.

Village President Christopher Canning said he wanted the giant Ash tree remembered, and also used as an example of what can be done with other trees as Emerald Ash Borers continue devastating urban street trees throughout Illinois.

The tree was toppled during a July 11, 2011 storm.

Canning said the tree was the biggest Green Ash in Illinois and the oldest tree in Wilmette.

Canning said the giant ash stood as an icon in the village’s Gilson Park on the lake front.

Wade Ellis, founder of Ellis Woodworking in West Chicago, said Wilmette wanted the wood to speak for itself, so he just sanded smooth the lumber, applied clear coat to highlight the tans, reds and purples of the ash, then shaped it into the furniture.

All of it will be delivered to the village hall in a Monday ceremony.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody Reports