Much to my surprise, I learned of another old Oak tree that was living during the Revolutionary War too. Two years ago, a friend of ours was walking down town and found the tree. It has a marker with the dates 1787-1987 stating: "The National Arborist Association and the International Society of Arboriculture jointly recognize this significant tree in this Bicentennial year as having lived here at the time of the signing of our Constitution." The discovery was news to me. I didn't know about this tree and I'm so glad our friend found it. My youngest daughter and I stopped by again two days ago to see if had acorns. It did and we got a nice bunch to bring home so now we have quite a collection to use for Autumn decorating. I'm even going to plant some to see if I can get some to grow. The acorns and leaves are always wonderful inspiration for art. I painted these today after looking through the leaves we pressed in old telephone books on Tuesday. Autumn is off to a beautiful start.
Baker Street White Oak
Acorns from the Baker Street White Oak in photo above:
I would love to see this ancient Oak tree some day: The Old Oak Tree of the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church located in the graveyard.
This old oak was a sapling when Columbus discovered the Americas and already a full grown adult when Jamestown was settled in 1607. Famous English evangelists James Davenport and George Whitefield preached to over 3,000 people while standing under its branches in 1740. By the time of the Revolutionary War the oak was already nearly 400 years old and George Washington was said to have picnicked in its shade along with Lafayette and other officers.
In the 1930's in an effort to save it, a large cavity inside the tree was filled with 3 tons of concrete and the local water company installed 260 feet of steel rods and 1,500 feet of steel cables to support the weight of the tree's branches. It is reported to be one of the oldest white oak trees in the Western Hemisphere and its 156 foot spread is the widest of any tree in New Jersey.
The tree is currently on the property of The Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church, which was built in 1829.