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New Haven man arrested for cutting down historic Hamden tree

HAMDEN — A New Haven man has been charged with destroying an historic tree in Hamden.

Curtis Pardee, 63, of New Haven, was charged with criminal mischief, and criminal trespass. Officials said he cut down “The Door Tree”, known for its unique shape, which stood proudly in some woods not far from Quinnipiac University on Regional Water Authority property.

“It got its name because there were two trees that for some reason came together forming an archway or doorway like arch,” said Hamden Town Historian David Johnson.

There are pictures of this tree dating back to the late 1800’s. The Regional Water Authority, which owns this land, says their forester believes this tree could date back to the Revolutionary War era, in the 1770’s.

One photo, with two men in it, dates back to 1898. And, this tree had even been featured on the television show “Ripleys Believe It or Not.”

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