The Wye Oak at Wye Mills, Maryland was believed to have germinated in the 1500’s! The Wye Oak held the title of the largest white oak in the United States since the American Forestry Association began it’s contest in 1940! On June 6, 2002 the Wye Oak’s massive trunk collapsed during a severe thunderstorm! Facts: dnr.Maryland.gov. This Talbot Historical Society Collection photo was taken shortly after it had fallen!
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Letters to Editor
Mike Davis says
A very sad day when that big oak went down. In 1988, I got a baby Wye Oak grown from an acorn. It was a gift from Maryland. It still grows proudly in Annandale, VA, having grown far too large to move to Easton.
Billy Boyd says
Interesting story as a next door neighbor to the Wye Oak. At dawn on the morning following the Wye Oak’s demise, I walked up the road to pay my respects to this giant memory for our community. Much to my surprise I was greeted by multiple DNR and other law officials “guarding” the tree. When asked why their was so much protection needed, I learned that ALL NIGHT residents and local friends (the word was out…) had come by to collect as much of a memory as they could secure in any way they could. In my mind that told me just how special this tree was to all of us and the many generations that looked to this tree as a center of influence. I got a leaf…and a greater appreciation for what it meant to us all.
A lot of tears were shed that next morning when everyone in Wye Mills came to see what had happened. As Billy Boyd says, it meant more to all of us than we really understood. I’ve heard people say that Native Americans used it as a ceremonial tree because the huge lower limbs could have never grown in a forest setting. Down on his knees in the middle of the debris was Dr. Gouin, U of Md professor taking cuttings in a long-shot effort to clone the great tree, but they didn’t take. What a day- it shook us all to our core.