WTHR is reporting that Karen Cooper, 60, married a century-old tree in her neighborhood to stop it from being removed after the land was put for sale for $1 million.
The 60-year-old woman had rallied members of the community together after the city began planning to destroy the giant ficus tree, which had served as a cornerstone in the community for generations.
The Laurel tree had impressively weathered hurricanes including Irma, Wilma, Donna, and Isabel, and for some residents, survived way longer than when hurricanes started bearing names.
The tree’s roots are located on city property, but a sizable portion of its 8,000-square foot canopy drooped over the adjoining lot put up for sale. The City, aware of the significance of the tree, had planned to cut it down and plant a smaller tree in its stead, Newsweek reported.
However, in a concerted effort to save the ficus tree and its billowing branches that had provided shade for generations, Cooper pledged her undying love to the gigantic tree at a wedding reception at Snell Family Park in Fort Meyers, Saturday.
The wedding ceremony was replete with colorful flowers, Cooper’s dazzling white wedding dress, music, and a tree-decorated cake. Over 80 people were in attendance.
Cooper was led down an improvised aisle by her maid of honor and friend, Ann Carson, alongside her ring bearer without a ring—a dog named Little Bear.
Karen Cooper was ready to go out on a limb to save her beloved, so she got married — to a tree. https://t.co/th172j16oJ
— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) March 27, 2018
There was no priest present. The vows were read out by the ceremony’s disc jockey.
The 60-year-old woman speaking to ABC News revealed that her source of inspiration to save the tree came from learning that Mexican women had done something similar to save trees in their community.
In a story detailed by Fox News, female activists in Mexico held a mass wedding ceremony to raise awareness over illicit felling of trees that had devastated the Oaxaca landscape.
The spokesperson for the group, Doloeres Leycigi, revealed that the mass marriage was not a publicity stunt, but an effort to make the relevant authorities get more involved in preserving the woodlands.
“Marrying a tree is a way of protesting, to say that we need to stop exterminating Mother Earth every day, every minute, every second.”
Karen Cooper, who has been living in Fort Myers for 40 years, was hoping to create awareness with her uncanny union and have a wealthy donor buy the property and maintain the Laurel tree in its present state.
Karen Cooper was ready to go out on a limb to save her beloved, so she got married — to a tree. https://t.co/w54WqPmoau
— WJBF (@WJBF) March 28, 2018
However, city spokesman Stephanie Shaffer speaking to the News-Press after a board meeting, disclosed that the Snell Park tree would not be cut down.
“The City is moving forward to save the Snell Park ficus tree. Every day, City employees care for the trees and plants that give our city a sense of community and shared history.”
While Karen Cooper’s “tree-mendous” marriage to save a tree from destruction has been lauded, a 31-year-old actually fell in love with a tree and named it Tim.
Emma McCabe told Elite Daily that she had finally found love with the poplar tree, after a slew of unsuccessful relationships with men, describing the sex she had with Tim the tree, as the best she had ever had.
McCabe’s strange sexual attraction for a tree is known as dendrophilia.