published Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Wood from downed Osage orange tree to be distributed in lottery

The Osage orange tree on the Hamilton County Courthouse lawn fell as heavy storms swept through the area.  Thousands of couples have married under the tree.
The Osage orange tree on the Hamilton County Courthouse lawn fell as heavy storms swept through the area. Thousands of couples have married under the tree.
Photo by John Rawlston.

The Chattanooga Department of Public Works on March 28 will conduct a lottery for wood with the featured pieces being from the 150-year-old Osage orange tree that fell at the Hamilton County Courthouse last fall.

The lottery will take place at 10 a.m. at the wastewater treatment plant on Moccasin Bend.

A news release said, however, that souvenir-sized pieces of branches from the landmark tree will be given away on a first come, first-served basis. Those wanting them should be there at 9 and won’t need to be in the lottery.

“This lottery will work the same as the ones conducted in the past,” City Forester Gene Hyde said. “We do have some nice pieces of black cherry, boxelder, walnut and possibly other woods.” They came from other trees that fell into streets or were taken down in another project.

Registration for the wood will start at 9 a.m., which is also the time to begin inspecting the larger pieces of wood from the Osage orange tree.

Those chosen in the lottery should have the necessary transportation ready to haul away the pieces — some of which weigh several tons.

All of the wood is being given away free of charge, the release said.

Should March 28 have bad weather, April 4 has been selected as the backup date to hold the lottery.

Those seeking added information should call Hyde at 423-757-5182.

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