Ledon Young, Committee Member, with the Centre County Grange Fair Tree Committee says, nearly 50 trees were planted at the Grange Fairgrounds when the current Centre Hall location started hosting the fair in 1890.
But now these trees are showing their age.
“These Maples have been and are beginning to be more and more compromised,” Young, said. “It’s called Verticillium wilt. Unfortunately, trees do have, a life span and we are at the point where our trees have reached that.”
The verticilium wilt is a poison underneath the ground, which caused the fair staff to hire arborists to remove 24 trees in the past year.
“If a limb falls and you’re living in a canvas tent, that can have rather bad ramifications,” Young, said.
Even five years ago, Steve Strouse Owner of Strouse Woodworking in Bellefonte knew that a lot of the trees were being taken down.
“I approached the Grange Fair about what they were doing with trees that were coming down,” Strouse, said. “I knew a lot of them were coming down due to disease, and most of it was just being used for fire wood at the time so I asked if they’d be interested in making a partnership.”
Out of the 24 trees removed last year, strouse was given two. Out of that maple and oak wood, he makes clocks, spoons, and tissue boxes, and then sells them at the Grange Fair.
“A portion of the proceeds go back to the Grange Fairground for planting more trees, to plant new trees that will shade the fairgrounds for generations to come, Strouse, said.
The hand-crafted wooden items that are not sold at Grange Fair, will be on sale at the Gallery Shop in Lemont.