By Jane Keller Gordon, Contributing Writer
Southborough – Copper beech trees are worth talking about. One planted at Tufts University sometime between 1855 and 1860 made the news when it was taken down after being struck by lightening in 2015. Another did in 2012 when the town of Belmont had to cut down one of two famous copper beech trees, both seen in Winslow Homer’s 1866 painting, “Croquet on the Lawn.” That tree, located in front of the Belmont Woman’s Club, was estimated to be about 150 years old at the time; it had a circumference of 21 feet, and a diameter of 7 feet.
Fortunately for the town of Southborough, there is a massive copper beech that’s thriving. It’s located on private property, and cared for by its owners. The tree’s circumference or girth width, measured about 4 feet from its base, is approximately 12 feet. Its diameter is about 6.4 feet. One of its many large branches has a circumference of about 100 inches.
According to the website www.gardenguides.com, the age of a beech tree may be estimated by multiplying 0.5 by its girth width in centimeters. Could the tree be 300 years old? No one can tell for sure the age of a tree without taking a core sample or studying its rings once a tree is cut down. That’s not going to happen anytime soon.