LONGMONT - A Longmont cottonwood tree that's been the center of controversy for years was cut down this morning.
The city considers cotton-bearing cottonwood trees nuisances. Neighbors complained the tree created a mess, had adverse affects on allergies and sidewalks, and clogged air conditioning filters.
The McDonald family, who planted the tree, disagreed. They argued it did not hurt anyone and claimed they offered to help to clean up any mess and pay expenses for any necessary air conditioner repairs.
Nearly two weeks ago, a judge ruled in favor of the city cutting down the tree.
Now a Longmont man is taking the tree's trunk and transforming it into furniture for the family.
"I hope the McDonalds at some point would like to have something from the tree. If I could build them something then they could have it for generations to come," Chris Olberding said.
Olberding owns The Urban Woodworks and plans to make the trunk into tables.
"I hope with time it can bring the family some comfort," he said.
The McDonald family hasn't accepted Olberding's gift yet.
"I think there can be beautiful things made out of it and I appreciate the gesture, so we'll see," Quinn Finn, the McDonald's youngest daughter, said. "I'll leave that up to my parents and what they want to do."
The family was absent as the tree in front of their home was cut down. Finn says the family is devastated.
Olberding is offering help because he said community support is what helped him after he lost his daughter to cancer about a year and a half ago.
"If I could give them some kind of comfort, it's what I needed to do," he said.
According to Olberding, making the tables will take at least a years which gives the McDonald family time to accept his offer.
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