The City of Regina is cutting down the oldest tree in Victoria Park.

The estimated 123-year-old tree, located along the north side of the park, has been declining in health over the past several years and will be removed before it becomes a hazard to other trees and residents within the park.

Its wood will be given to local elders for ceremonial purposes, while the trunk will be saved for art projects.

“We are sad to see a part of Regina’s history and urban forest be removed,” said Russell Eirich, Manager, Open Space Services, “but the tree will continue to be a part of the community for years to come.”

For years, city crews have tried to maintain the oldest tree including keeping pruning minimal by only removing dead wood and adding special fencing during public events. Approximately thirteen years ago, redial trenching was done to reduce compaction and aerate the root layer, but the tree continued to deteriorate.