Platteville says goodbye to 'That Tree'

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PLATTEVILLE, Wis.– There’s a tree that stands alone in a field in Platteville, but over the past eight years, that tree has never truly been alone.

One day many years ago, Mark Hirsch, a photographer, picked up his iPhone and started a project, taking photos of “That Tree” everyday for a year. Along the way, he made a connection with the tree.

“I would come here in the most horrible weather and my most difficult moments in life,” Hirsch said. “I envisioned all sorts of future milestones in my life beneath that tree, and I’ll never experience any of them because she is gone.”

Severe storms blew through Grant County Monday afternoon, taking “That Tree” with them.

“I parked my truck. The weather was still hideous, horrible lightning and thunder. I just walked down here and I laid my head on her trunk and cried,” Hirsch said.

It’s not just a loss for Hirsch, but for a whole community he built on Facebook through photos and videos of “That Tree.”

“I lost a lot, and I think a lot of people will feel the same heartfelt loss that I felt when I made that walk,” Hirsch said.

Hirsch said he doesn’t want to remember the tree like this, so he won’t take any photos of her destroyed by the storm. Instead, he has an entire book to remember her by.