UPDATE: Wye Oaks Seedlings are no longer available. This story was originally published in 2014.

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. 

Wye Oak in 1940
Largest White Oak in the U.S. in 1940, 53-feet high, 18 feet diameter at the base with a spread of 165 feet (photo courtesy Maryland DNR)

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.

Maryland Wye Oak
Wye Oak was knocked over by a severe thunderstorm in 2002 (photo courtesy Maryland DNR)

Now, it’s coming to life again.

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.