Nineteenth century settlers of the town of Balmville, NY on the bank of the Hudson River mistook a large cottonwood at the center of town for a Balm of Gilead Tree. For reasons lost to history they named their town after the tree, hence Balm-ville.
A cottonwood lives on average about 75 years. This cottonwood was a seedling in about 1700 and for this reason the 350 square feet around it was declared a state forest in 1975. When the grizzled tree was found unsound in 1994 a steel column with support cables was erected to support the tree, the first known effort of its kind.