Deciduous Death at Clarke County Courthouse

The buzz of chainsaws filled the air in Berryville on Friday as a large tree on the front lawn of the Clarke County Courthouse was removed. The tree, which was struck by lightning during an intense storm that blazed through the county on Easter Sunday, was taken down as a safety precaution.

Tree on Clarke County courthouse with apparent lightning strike - Photo by Bonnie Jacobs

Crews from C. M. Payne Tree Care worked most of the day to take down the tree, estimated to be approximately 75 feet tall, and remove the stump.

“There’s not much that you can do once they’re hit by lightning” said an area arborist observing the operation. “Better to take it down on your terms rather than letting it come down later on its terms” he laughed.

The Clarke County Courthouse specimen was only one of many trees in Berryville that fell victim to the severe Easter Day winds. But although heavy rains and lightning blanketed Berryville, the storm lasted less than an hour and left many other areas of the county untouched.

The species of the Clarke County Courthouse’s fallen soldier was not discerned on Friday. Does anyone know what species of tree was removed?

Clarke County Courthouse tree removal - Photo Edward Leonard

Stump being removed from ClarClarke County Courthouse lawn - Photo Edward Leonard


Workers removed a tree from the Clarke County Courthouse lawn that was damaged during an Easter Day storm - Photo Edward Leonard


  1. I was told that it was a red oak–if it was I sure hope they took it down in large enough sections that some local woodworkers will get the use of it. I think it may be the tree shown in the c1905 postcard of the 1836 courthouse in the picture on p57 of Berryville Celebrates or on our online catalog [ bottom of archives page] under 1998.00472.082 (search for pictures using 1836 courthouse as the keywords) Over various views we see the tree grow, be topped, and grow again. Mother Nature is a capricious lady—and has a terrible temper at times!

  2. GOPjunky says:


  3. Battletown says:

    I know of a great wood sculptor in Berryville, Dale Root. and if you walk Main St. Im sure you have seen some of his pieces, amazing stuff. We need to get some of that tree to him!