The European Beech tree located in the courtyard outside of Toms River Town Hall will be coming down today.

You've likely been under or walked by the historic 47-foot tree that has called the courtyard home for nearly a century right outside of the Ocean County Library.

It will now be removed due to aging and carpenter ant infestation, according to township officials.

Toms River officials cite a report by a New Jersey Licensed Tree Expert from Aspen Tree Expert Co., Inc. said that due to heavy foot traffic and lawn mower usage in the root zone of tree, there is significant soil compaction which Beech trees are extremely sensitive to and there is an increase in carpenter ant activity near the base.

In addition, the tree is also showing signs of bleeding cankers, most likely the result of root rot, town officials said.

The company says in its current condition the tree poses a greater than average degree of risk of failure of limbs.

"The tree has been a remarkable gift to us. We've been blessed to have it here in our courtyard for nearly 100 years. Couples have carved their names in the tree and visitors and residents alike have undoubtedly spent time beneath its branches for shade. Employees enjoyed eating below it during lunchtime. I am sad to see it go. However, in the interest of public safety, unfortunately the tree must be removed," Mayor Tom Kelaher said.

Once the tree comes down today, Kelaher is contemplating having one or several trees planted in its place.

"We are in the process of discussing ideas for replacing the tree and what we would like to see in the courtyard for the future," Kelaher said.

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