SALT LAKE CITY — A 94-year-old woman is thanking Salt Lake City for saving her tree after needing to remove it for a construction project on 2000 E.
Gloria Erickson says this isn't just any oak tree. It has special sentimental value for her, and she was going to fight to keep it.
“I was just in a panic. I thought 'they can’t do that',” Erickson said.
Erickson was angry when she heard the city would be cutting down the tree in her front lawn to make way for a new sidewalk and drainage repairs as part of the construction work along 2000 E.
Then they come along and we’re going to do this with the sidewalk in the street and they were going to just toss it and so I called Gaye,” Erickson said.
Erickson’s daughter, Gaye Erickson Stoner, made several calls to the city, making sure they knew of the tree’s importance to her mother.
"It was worth saving this tree meant so much to her the trip meant a lot and the fact that she grew it from an acorn is quite amazing,” said Gaye Erickson Stoner.
Gloria grew the tree herself from acorns she got from a tree on the grounds of the White House.
“I was in Washington DC on a tour with the master gardeners and we were, came out of the White House and they were raking the lawn and so I went over and I said [...] ‘oh, can I have an acorn?’ He said ‘oh, yeah.’ and he gave me a couple,” said Erickson.
The city ultimately decided that the meaning of the tree was important enough to save it.
“When we came out she had it taped it off with ribbon and we were like ‘OK, we need to make this work for her’,” said Josh Thompson, project manager.
On Thursday, the city dug up the tree from its original spot in the yard, and gave it a new home, right in front of Gloria’s kitchen window.
“It’s amazing. I’m so glad they could do it. I was just crushed when I thought they were going to cut it down. It made my life worth living again,” said Erickson.