No one really knows how old it was. The rings of the Wye Oak, once the nation’s largest oak of its kind in the country, show that it began growing sometime in the 1500s. The huge, ancient tree was overcome by age and the elements in 2002 when a June thunderstorm finally blew it down, and the tree that lived through the birth of the country and multiple wars died. The Wye Oak was nearly 32 inches across, weighing 61,000 pounds.
Now, it’s coming to life again.
DNR’s Outdoor Store is offering descendant seedlings of Maryland’s famous Wye Oak for $50 a seedling. Orders will be delivered this spring, complete with a tree history sheet and a certificate of authenticity.
Maryland’s Wye Oak was recognized as the largest White Oak tree in the nation. Its stately presence shaded the village of Wye Mills in Talbot County.
In1909 it was recognized for it’s size when Maryland hired its first State Forester. The state bought the Wye Oak, and the parcel of land it grew on, in 1939 and declared it the state tree. The small plot of land continues as Wye Oak State Park with parts of the tree on exhibit in a pavilion.
The desire to have this tree’s legacy live on led Maryland’s John S. Ayton State Forest Tree Nursery to grow its offspring whenever the Wye Oak produced acorns. Thousands of Wye Oak offspring have been planted not only across Maryland, but throughout the United States.
The seedlings are $50 each, of limited quantities and available on a first come, first served basis. They will not be available again for another two years. You can order Wye Oak seedlings the DNR Outdoor Store.
For more information, call the nursery at 1-800-873-3763.
DNR also encourages private citizens who would like to plant trees to save $25 off the purchase of a $50 tree through the Marylanders Plant Trees Program. Coupons are redeemable at participating nurseries across the State. For more information, visit trees.maryland.gov.