"Frank Knight Dead: 'Herbie' The Elm Tree Caretaker Dies At 103"

"PORTLAND, Maine -- Frank Knight's decades-long battle to save New England's tallest elm served as an inspiring tale of devotion, so it is fitting that he will be laid to rest in a coffin made from the tree he made famous. Knight, who died Monday at 103, had affectionately referred to the 217-year-old elm nicknamed Herbie as "an old friend." The massive tree succumbed to Dutch elm disease and was cut down two years ago."

"Wood from the tree was made into a casket, a secret that was kept from Knight.

"To have them together like that is a wonderful thing. I feel like Frank took good care of Herbie. Now Herbie will take good care of Frank," said Deb Hopkins, a close friend who succeeded Knight as the town's tree warden."

David Sharp reports for the Associated Press May 14, 2012.

Source: AP, 05/16/2012