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What’s next for Scythe Tree in Waterloo?

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

A significant portion of Waterloo’s historic scythe tree, recognized for three scythes embedded within its trunk, fell on July 19, prompting local authorities to focus on preserving the remaining part of the tree.

Public works and highway department crews have already removed the fallen sections and cleared the area.


The 165-year-old tree, which has received attention from arborists and others over the years, encapsulates part of the town’s history.

The history of the scythe tree can be traced back to 1861, when local resident James Wyman Johnson planted his scythe in the tree before leaving for the Civil War, asking his parents to leave it there until his return.