Beloved 600-year-old white oak tree takes final bow

Apr 28, 2017, 01:00
Beloved 600-year-old white oak tree takes final bow

The chopping and pulling will draw attention from residents of a bedroom community about 30 miles west of NY and other tree fans who see it as a chance to bid a final farewell.

The 600 year old White Oak that stands in Bernard, New Jersey has died and is being cut down.

Residents of Bernards in New Jersey watched on as crews cut down the enormous tree - believed to have been one of the oldest in the country. The old tree, declared dead last summer after it failed to sprout foliage, is scheduled to be chopped down soon. It's expected to take two to three days to complete.

The tree has been an important part of the community since the town's inception in the 1700s.

Over the years, the tree served as a backdrop for countless family photos and even shielded George Washington from the sun during a few picnics during the American Revolution, according to legend.

But its legacy will live on - a new white oak tree grown from the old tree's acorns was recently planted at the church.

NJ church gets offspring to replace now-dead 600-year-old tree
End of the line: Crews set to take down 600-year-old white oak tree

Jon Klippel, a church board member, told NJ.com that they are unsure what they will do with the wood from the 600-year-old tree after it is chopped down.

Sunday's service will be the first without the majestic tree overlooking the church graveyard and congregation, built around it, some 300 years ago. Arborists determined it wouldn't be able to withstand many more harsh winters or spring storms.

The sprawling tree is about 100 feet tall, has a trunk that's 18 feet wide and branches that reach 150 feet, NBC New York reported.

'Yeah, no one thought about the tree dying.

'It just kind of feels like a part of the town is dying with it, ' one resident told CBS previous year. "We've been blessed to have it here".

Klippel said they are prepared for some surprises, including 3 tons of concrete somewhere in the tree originally to help preserve it. A much younger 25-foot white oak grew from an acorn that fell from the big mother tree. They note that several factors — including droughts, intensive wildfires and invasive insects — can greatly harm trees, which become more susceptible to damage as they age.

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