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Maryland's former state tree, the regal white oak of Wye Oak State Park; once a national champion until storm damage killed it in 2002.

The Legendary Champion White Oak Lives On

August 5, 2015

The Wye Oak State Park in Maryland once housed one of the most majestic white oaks of its time. This nearly 500-year-old tree lived a long and happy life until Mother Nature’s woes caused it to fall in 2002. Read below to find out how the legacy of this brilliant tree lives on today.

Champion Tree

Maryland’s former state tree, the enormous, regal white oak of Wye Oak State Park, dominated this spot for nearly 500 years, creating shade for surrounding structures built centuries later. In spite of its longevity, a severe and lethal summer storm felled the once mighty white oak in 2002—despite the fact that it had been cabled in the 1990s.


In the tree’s heyday, it stood 96 feet high with an enormous 119 foot spread. To keep its legacy alive, a sprightly, young oak was planted within the former giant’s tree trunk.

For 75 years, American Forests has identified the country’s largest native trees in order to preserve them and educate the public about their importance. To celebrate, and mark Davey’s 25th year partnering with American Forests, the 2015 National big Tree Program Calendar features special champion trees from across the country, including the unforgettable, former champion white oak.

Do you know a big tree you’d like to see recognized in the American Forests’ National Big Program? Nominate it here!

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