Photo by Sue Watson
The yew tree in Hill Crest Cemetery, pictured after the pruning, is 150 years old and could live to be 500.

Cemetery buzz

• Yew tree pruned, but ‘not likely to hurt it’

Staff Writer

The pruning of lower branches of the 150-year-old yew tree stirred up passion about the upkeep of the historic Hill Crest Cemetery.

But, the crown of the yew is sufficient that the tree is not likely to suffer any untoward effects, according to John Hodges, retired forestry expert from Mississippi State University who lives in the Potts Camp area. Hodges taught ecology and silva culture at MSU in a 25-year career.

“That’s a bad mistake,” he said about the way the tree was pruned. “Fortunately, you’ve got enough crown that pruning is not likely to hurt it.”

The tree, believed to have been planted around 1870 beside the grave of a famous Episcopal priest who died an unexpected death, could live to be 400 or 500 years old.

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