DeSoto Family Loses Battle with Interstate Construction

DeSoto Family Loses Battle with Interstate Construction

A fight to save history fails. The Mississippi Department of Transportation cut down a nearly 200-year-old tree Wednesday to make way for new interstate.
DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - A fight to save history fails. The Mississippi Department of Transportation cut down a nearly 200-year-old tree Wednesday to make way for new interstate.

A DeSoto County family had been fighting to preserve the massive hickory for months.

When complete, Interstate 69/269 will run from Canada to Mexico. Many trees are being cut down as it's built, but a Byhalia family was hoping theirs would not be one of them.

MDOT cut down the 175-year-old shaggy bark hickory Wednesday afternoon. Reginald Boyce's family had been going back and forth with the agency for months.

The tree had been in the Boyce family for four generations. They were hoping it could be spared.

"It's part of our family history. Those are very rare trees. There aren't many in the south anymore. You're not against progress. You're not against change, but so much of nature is being destroyed when it really didn't have to be," Boyce tells abc24.com.

MDOT says the tree was growing between the future highway's on-ramp and southbound lane and had to be removed for safety reasons.

Boyce has been able to save the wood. He plans to build something with it so his family can remember the tree.

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