Members who attended the Second Biennial John Updike Conference and took the walking tour of Ipswich led by Michael Updike got to see the town’s most famous tree . . . before it had to be cut down.
Now, a part of that tree lives on at the Ipswich Library as a table.
“The table was crafted from the town’s storied American Elm tree which stood on the corner of County and East streets until it succumbed to Dutch Elm disease and was felled in 2012,” Amanda Ostuni writes in “Ipswich Library turns a beloved tree into a unique piece of furniture.”
“The tree was more than 250 years old and was referenced in the writings of John Updike. When it was felled, the Ipswich Shade Tree and Beautification Committee decided to distribute the wood among local artisans, woodworkers, furniture makers and builders to use to craft special items.”
The Friends of Ipswich Library commissioned craftsman Fred Rossi of Manchester to create a table out of the wood.
“‘It’s a round 36-inch diameter table that sits in front of the fireplace [in the Rogers reading room] and they wanted to preserve the history of the tree,’ said Rossi. ‘So I came up with a design that would be round, invoking a section of the tree, but made it in 16 sections that radiated out.'”
See also: “True to the tree: Library to unveil Ipswich Elm Table.”