Find out what Union College is doing with downed trees - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Find out what Union College is doing with downed trees

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Posted By: Bayley Bischof Channel 8 Eyewitness News 

Union College is turning storm damage, into Lincoln history.

It happened august 20th, heavy winds hit Lincoln, knocking trees down all across the city.

Including Union College, right off 48th and Prescott Avenue.

"Right along 48th street we noticed a lot of the large locust trees we were kinda proud of were laying down,” Paul Jenks, plant services with Union College said. “So we went to work cleaning them up but we didn't really know what we had."

Turns out, what they had were some of the oldest trees in the city.

"Started counting the rings on these trees and they came up to 147 rings,” he said.

That's when they decided instead of turning them into firewood, they better do something more.

They'll cut the biggest log into slabs to be made into tables, or kept as memorials at Union College and UNL.

"That's what we're trying to do, just honor the history,” Jenks said. “We're probably going to make what they call tree cookies out of them with an emblem stamped on them for the college, there's a number of ideas."

He said working with these trees is a really big undertaking.

They've had to bring in some heavy machinery, but even that is struggling with the nearly 150 year old logs.

"It's capable of 10,000 pounds and the air lift here could barely lift it,” Jenks said.

The college hopes to even sell pieces to people who want them.

He said it would take a while before items are available to the public, but when they are you just need to talk to the advancement office at Union college to find out how you can have a piece of Lincoln history in your home.

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