Part of Afton playground area closed because of toppling tree

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City crews in Afton on Tuesday were working to clear a large oak tree from the playground area in Town Square Park.

The old leaning oak tree, which toppled to the ground sometime overnight Monday, had “seemed to defy gravity for decades” and was a favorite of the town’s children, Mayor Bill Palmquist said. “It grew in this crazy way where kids could walk right up it.”

The tree landed on a picnic table in the park, but Palmquist said he did not think the table or nearby playground equipment was damaged.

“It’s the strangest thing ever,” he said. “We also lost a big cottonwood tree down by the river in Steamboat Park last night. It’s just so random. There wasn’t a big storm or anything, and it wasn’t even windy. They both just sort of fell over.”

Crews expect to have the tree removed by Wednesday afternoon. Palmquist said he hopes some of its wood can be repurposed “into something for the kids to continue to play on at the park.”

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