I remember a couple decades ago, there was a local church in my small central Pennsylvania town that wanted to expand its administrative building. But to do so, it would have to cut down a black walnut that stood at the town’s late 18th century founding. The local paper got hold of the story - or more accurately, it was fed to them - and it polarized the town. It should be a crime to kill sentinel trees, how dare you tree huggers contest God’s will etc etc. In the end, the tree came down and life went on. As I recall there was quite a bidding war over the wood. I heard of at least one local guitar builder who got hold of some, but I didn’t know the guy and never heard anything further about it. For what it’s worth, there is a ton of witness trees still standing just down the road in Gettysburg, and almost all are protected by the National Park Service.