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A Big Tree in a Small Town

By Linda Tancs

Egremont, Massachusetts, is a small town in the Berkshires, the kind of out-of-the-way place you’d expect a celebrated writer to hunker down in while writing the next great American novel. But the most celebrated thing there is a tree. Not just any tree, mind you, but a colossal twin-trunked elm about 150 years old lovingly named Elma. It resides alone on Baldwin Hill in the middle of a cornfield, its isolation credited for its survival against that elm-felling, beetle-borne fungus known as Dutch elm disease. It strikes quite the pose against the rural landscape (which includes the Housatonic River Valley and some of the Berkshire Hills), making it perhaps the most photographed tree in western Massachusetts.

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