Once the tallest elm in New England, the more than 200-year-old tree is now missing at least 10 foot section from his topmost branches from a combination of a weak trunk and winds from Tropical Storm Isaias that blew through the region Tuesday.
Three years ago Reid Middle School students joined city and state officials to plant one new tree in front of the school.
But that was just a start. Since then the Department of Conservation and Recreation has planted more than 2,000 trees in the city and looks to reach the goal of 2,400 this year.
Towering more than an estimated 107 feet tall with a wide spanning canopy, King Elmer is in the running for the biggest American Elm tree in the state.
On Monday, Race Mountain Tree Service arborists were climbing high into the Summer Street tree for some ongoing maintenance to let it grow. The company was going both trimming to remove dead branches and assessing the health of the tree to allow it to continue to grow.
The tree-planting project, an initiative of the Franklin Land Trust and funded by a grant from the U.S. Forest Service, will offer trees to residents and businesses, and also will replace dying or dead trees along downtown streets and within city neighborhoods.