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Downtown Raleigh street will be closed Thursday as massive oak tree comes down

A 90-foot willow oak must come down in Nash Square. It was the inspiration for Raleigh’s “Shimmer Wall.”
A 90-foot willow oak must come down in Nash Square. It was the inspiration for Raleigh’s “Shimmer Wall.”

A venerable oak tree on Nash Square downtown will be cut down on Thursday, prompting the city to close a block of Martin Street.

It will take most of the day for crews to take down the 90-foot-tall willow oak, which towers over the street on the south edge of the square. Martin Street will be closed between Dawson and McDowell streets at 7 a.m. and isn’t expected to open until 6 p.m.

The tree has been a part of Nash Square for more than a century. Old age and disease are forcing the city to take it down.

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Richard Stradling covers transportation for The News & Observer. Planes, trains and automobiles, plus ferries, bicycles, scooters and just plain walking. Also, #census2020. He’s been a reporter or editor for 32 years, including the last 20 at The N&O. 919-829-4739, rstradling@newsobserver.com.
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