Did you ever find yourself standing under an old oak tree, looking up into its massive canopy and wondering what the world looked like when the tree was first planted? Historic trees are an important part of the heritage of many communities. They are elements in the folklore that passes down through the generations, and landmarks in their own right. The affection that people have for old trees is amazing. Many have been written up in history texts, guidebooks and featured in works of art. Here is some interesting information on a few of our favorite trees.
The Endicott Pear
The oldest living fruit tree in the United States is alive and well after bearing fruit for over 300 years. Located on Endicott Street in Danvers, MA, near our Beverly Farms office, the Endicott Pear showed amazing resilience after vandals cut off its branches in 1964. Gifted horticulturists donated their time to save the tree through extensive grafting.
The Bedford Oak
This beloved specimen is a living landmark not far from SavATree’s corporate headquarters in Bedford Hills, NY, and its well being has been the focus of many meetings of the Bedford community. The Bedford Oak is a white oak (Quercus alba) approximately 400 – 500 year old. The tree has always been a part of Bedford’s history, and lived largely undisturbed until 1977, when a neighboring construction project threatened to change the environment surrounding the tree. Several prominent citizens quickly raised funds to buy the land and it has been under the vigilant stewardship of the historic society ever since. When driving by, many residents are known to tip their hat to show respect to the town’s oldest citizen.
The Baker Elm
versary, the Baker Elm stood proudly, overseeing the parade and other festivities on Main Street. This majestic elm, which is at least as old as the town, was a young and vigorous tree when Indians and settlers lived side-by-side. Similar to most American Elms, it is combating Dutch Elm disease. The Ladies Village Improvement Society of East Hampton continues to do a heroic job in preserving this and the many other elms that line the roads leading into town.
The Mercer Oak
The Mercer Oak stood in the middle of Battlefield State Park in Princeton, New Jersey for over 300 years. It was a reminder of our country’s fight for freedom during the Revolutionary War. General Mercer rested against this tree as he refused to leave the battle, fatally wounded. It is now a reminder that despite our best efforts, historic trees’ lifespans eventually come to an end, as the Mercer Oak succumbed to damage from high winds earlier this year. Mercer Oak history lives on in Princeton where several citizens have propagated offspring of the tree from acorns!
Taking Care of Old Friends
Extending the life span of historic trees, known as tree preservation, is a subspecialty of arboriculture in high demand. Many historic trees witness the construction of new buildings and roadways around them. Since construction injury is a leading cause of death among specimen trees, proper construction site planning is essential. Historic trees must be cared for by a professional arborist who is familiar with root systems and damage prevention methods to help them survive.
Additionally, historic trees often find themselves standing alone. Without the protection of other trees, they are vulnerable to storm damage, and precautions need to be taken, such as cabling and bracing, to help the tree persevere during storms and climatic extremes. Whether your favorite old tree is on public property, or is part of your family’s backyard history, we would be honored to develop a program to make the most of your tree’s lifespan.
Click or call today to arrange a complimentary consultation from our fully trained and certified arborists for tree care, tree fertilizer and lawn care services from SavATree. Click here to contact the office nearest you.