The huge oak tree outside Royal Ace Hardware which was split during last week’s storm must be removed, according to property owner Gene Brogdon.
Brogdon consulted with local arborist Jerry Holcomb on Wednesday, and the news was not good for the tree, now estimated to be more than 300 years old.
"It’s going to have to come out," Brogdon said. "Jerry found that there is a lot of rot in the center from an old lightning strike. It’s out of balance since being split, and we just can’t risk it falling over when the winds of the northeast kick up."
Brogdon, one of the founding members of the Bryan Coastal Tree Foundation, said he will place another live oak in the spot, "but it certainly won’t be as the big as the one currently there."
Brogdon owns the shopping center along with his wife Carole and planned the plaza around the tree.
"It’s like losing a friend," Brogdon said. "It’s been there so long."