Yarmouth honors caretaker of Herbie the elm tree with public memorial

Posted May 19, 2012, at 11:59 a.m.

YARMOUTH, Maine — The town of Yarmouth is honoring the local resident who cared for New England’s champion elm.

Frank Knight, who died Monday at 103, spent five decades looking after the tree nicknamed Herbie, seeing it through 14 bouts of Dutch elm disease before the tree had to be cut down in January 2010. Knight’s devotion to the 110-foot-tall tree served as an inspiration to people across the country.

On Saturday, a public memorial was being held at First Parish Church in Yarmouth.

Knight was already buried late in the week at Riverside Cemetery alongside his wife, Fran, who died more than a dozen years ago from cancer. Knight was laid to rest in a coffin made from Herbie’s remains.

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