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Tree Planted On Long Island By Teddy Roosevelt Chopped Down

COVE NECK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A part of Long Island's history is being removed limb by limb.

teddy roosevelt tree chopped down
A giant copper beech tree planted in the 1890s by President Theodore Roosevelt was chopped down at the family estate in Sagamore Hill on June 25, 2019. (Credit: CBS2)

A giant copper beech tree is being cut down. Estimated to be more than 120 years old, the tree was diseased and its demise inevitable.

"It's very sad. You know, 100 years ago, TR died in this house. But well before that, he planted this tree," said Tweed Roosevelt.

"TR" is how Tweed refers to his great-grandfather, President Theodore Roosevelt.

The 26th president and former New York governor planted the tree in the 1890s at the family estate in Sagamore Hill that's now a National Historic Site run by the Park Service.

For more than a century, the tree stood tall, welcoming visitors.

"It grew big and strong like TR. But like TR, it comes to its end," Tweed said.

Tree limbs were the first to go. Tree removal experts started cutting it down Tuesday morning. The tree's trunk will be removed on July 1, but Tweed Roosevelt says the legacy will live on. Saplings will be replanted in the same spot, while the tree's wood will find other uses.

"We're going to store this tree, turn it into furniture and other things, plaques, and one of the things we're really pleased to do is make benches here for the park so people can sit in it," Tweed said.

Sagamore Hill reopened to the public in 2015 after an extensive 4-year renovation. The 28-room mansion was considered Teddy Roosevelt's summer White House.

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