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Today's Interview: Henry Clay's estate, Ashland, lost at least 15 trees due to March 3 storm.

This American elm at Henry Clay's Ashland estate felled during the March 3 storms was alive when Clay was.
Henry Clay Memorial Foundation
Jim Clark
This American elm at Henry Clay's Ashland estate felled during the March 3 storms was alive when Clay was.

Ashland, the Lexington estate of Henry Clay, lost 15 trees during the March 3rd storms. Jim Clark is the executive director of The Henry Clay Memorial Foundation. He said the landscape has been transformed.

“Especially when the great American Elm came down, it took out two smaller spruce trees. So we've opened up some new vistas on the property.”

Clark says another tree fell on Ashland’s smokehouse and damaged the roof. He estimates the total loss at north of $30,000. Tours were cancelled last week, but Clark said they should resume Tuesday. When visitors return, they won’t see an American elm and spruce that were alive when Henry Clay was. Clark said the loss of trees Clay once admired adds to the poignancy of the event.

“But we still have a number of older trees, there's two Blue Ash Trees that predate Henry. They are what can we think over 300 years old. So there's, there's a number of trees that are still carrying the weight of history with them.”

Still, something good may come of this. Clark said he hopes the black cherries can be transformed into benches and tables for the property, and the spruces into guitars and mandolins.

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John McGary is a Lexington native and Navy veteran with three decades of radio, television and newspaper experience.
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