Vandals chop down Minn. 'honking tree'; what will we honk at now?


Two Harbors is mourning the loss of one of their most historic residents: the Honking Tree. Late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, someone with a chainsaw took down the 75-foot-tall white pine in the median of the Two Harbors expressway. Some residents were nearly in tears talking to reporters about the downed tree that people traditionally honked at as they passed.

You're probably thinking: This is only a tree. Get over it folks; trees fall and die all the time. But Two Harbors residents are visibly shaken by the loss, many of them saying it was a symbol of their home.

And what will they honk at now?

More from the Duluth News Tribune:

A Minnesota Department of Transportation employee discovered the fallen tree shortly after 6 a.m. Thursday.

"He was driving up to work in Two Harbors here and drove past there," Lake County Sheriff's dispatcher John Brandt said Thursday morning. "He said something didn't look right, so he turned back around. The tree was laying there. Someone had cut it down with a chainsaw."

Word of the tree's destruction spread quickly through Two Harbors. Mayor Randy Bolen mentioned it at an early morning downtown business association meeting. At the SuperOne store, employee Treasaigh Anderson was stunned by the news.

"It was a tradition for us to honk as we headed home," she said. "When I was a kid, whenever I saw that tree I knew I was almost home. I'm almost in tears."

Watch the Fox 21 News report here.

The icon was also known as "Charlie's tree" in honor of Charlie Hensley. He was responsible for saving it during the construction of the Highway 61 Expressway in the 1960s.

But in all seriousness, what will Minnesotans honk at now? Any resident or visitor to this fine state will realize our extremely passive aggressive drivers rarely honk unless they are seriously enraged.

And maybe that was the reason this tree fell. Anyone check in with residents living near this honking tree? We could imagine chopping the tree down too if there was a chance to stop the never ending honking on that stretch of road.