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LOCKPORT – A giant copper beech tree, reputed to be the oldest tree in Lockport and certainly one of the largest, was cut down Monday.

“It was deader than dead,” Mayor Michael W. Tucker said. However, the tree was on private property in front of a Rite Aid drugstore at South Transit and Summit streets, so the city wasn’t involved in the removal.

Citizens urged the state Department of Transportation not to take the copper beech down when it widened the intersection to install left-turn lanes about nine years ago.

The DOT altered its plans to take less land from that side of the street, but it did install a new sidewalk.

Tucker said a large limb of the tree fell onto South Transit Street a couple of weeks ago, leading to safety concerns. A second tree of a different species also was removed Monday in front of the drugstore.