Landmark 600-Year-Old Oak in New Jersey Coming Down

Posted April 28, 2017

A white oak tree has been standing for 600 years and it is considered one of the nation's oldest trees.

In the last several years, the tree began to suffer from poor health.

'I know it seems amusing to some to mourn a tree, but I'm really going to miss seeing it, ' said Bernards resident Monica Evans, recalling family photos during weddings and communions.

"Everyone knew the tree", Periera said, and indeed not everyone who at the church on Monday morning was from Basking Ridge.

A 16-year-old white oak grown from acorns collected from the great white oak was recently planted on the north end of the church. They determined it wouldn't be able to withstand many more harsh winters or spring storms.

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"Everybody that has ever lived here has recognized that tree as sort of a symbol of home", parishioner John Klippel said last fall.

"If we go back in to the church records and look at the bill that came in from the tree company in 1924, there is a line item that says 3 tons of concrete", he said.

"It has been an integral part of the town, that's for sure", Jon Klippel, a member of the church's planning council, told WABC.

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.

The tree at the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church in Bernards has been an important part of the community since the town's inception in the 1700s. "It has always been there, even before there was a town, and over the years many people have met there, been photographed there, had a meal under the tree".

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NJ.com reports that the younger tree was moved Tuesday to the grounds of a Bernards church to replace its so-called father tree.

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.

But despite six centuries of staying power, the tree was declared dead a year ago, the apparent victim, the New York Times has said, of old age and some volatile weather. "We've been blessed to have it here".

Predating the town that now surrounds it, the massive white oak tree is thought to be the oldest of its kind in North America.

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