The Old Oak, the large, white-oak tree that sits on the Tusculum College campus next to Old College has officially been added to the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council’s Tennessee Landmark and Historic Tree Register.
The tree itself is somewhere between 250 and 300 years old and has remained a noticeable feature in the area since before the Rev. Samuel Witherspoon Doak founded the college. As result, the oldest building on campus, Old College, was built in the Old Oak’s shade, and the tree has witnessed major events in American history such as the Civil War and Reconstruction, not to mention countless Tusculum students who have spent time beneath the tree’s branches.
According to Dollie Boyd, director of the Museums of Tusculum, a representative from the forestry council visited in April, and he was thrilled with the tree. He called it a “splendid” example of the White Oak variety, and he also said it was very healthy.
“It is great to hear that the tree is healthy and that the best thing we can do to ensure its health is to leave it be. He recommended no interventions of any kind, saying that if it is left alone it could live to be 400 years old.
The Landmark and Historic Tree Register allows for a brief history of the Old Oak to be added to the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council’s website, a plaque commemorating the tree and funding for a sign at the tree’s location. The Old Oak listing can be viewed at http://www.tufc.com/registries.html.