Losing the Honking Tree: One year laterForgive the remaining trunk of the Honking Tree as it mistakes the bray from a nearby horse for a car horn.
Forgive the remaining trunk of the Honking Tree as it mistakes the bray from a nearby horse for a car horn. It rests in an inland North Shore yard like a page from Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree,” forlorn in stark isolation from a storied past.
And like the famed children’s book, pieces of the tree are dotted across the region: a downtown Duluth trophy shop, a state office up on the hill, a retired forester’s garage, a dark evidence room at the sheriff’s office, and in the homes of those who snatch-ed up small medallions made from the ill-fated tree’s limbs.
The stump remains between the lanes of the expressway west of Two Harbors, where, sometime overnight at the end of April last year, someone cut the icon down. Today, it is simply adorned with an animal skull as cars rush by, not a honk to be heard.
A year after an overwhelming outcry over the senseless loss of the tree, the indignation has subsided. The wreaths are gone.
The investigation is cold. People have moved on.
But the pieces remain. There are plans for a miniature model of the Two Harbors Light Station made from boards sawed from the trunk. Huge, full-trunk medallions are ready for distribution throughout the county.
Inside today’s News-Chronicle, in a special pull-out section, we look at all the incarnations of the tree parts as it has been memorialized the past year for future generations. We also look at the history that emerged when the tree was discovered, hacked down in the median, and the lingering inspiration it wrought.
Check out this week's print edition of the Lake County News-Chronicle for a special two-page section on the Honking Tree.