The landmark Old Oak tree on the Tusculum College campus has been named co-champion white oak in the State of Tennessee.
After measuring the Old Oak in September, representatives of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Forestry Division announced that the Tusculum oak is tied with the previous champion, which is a white oak in Union County, making them now co-state champion trees.
The tree measures 273 in circumference and 102 feet in height. It also has a 124 foot average spread. According to Tom Simpson, regional urban forester, there are only six trees of any variety in the state that are larger in size than the Tusculum College Old Oak
“We’ve always known that the Old Oak was special, and we are thrilled with its new designation as a state champion,” said Dollie Boyd, director of the Museums of Tusculum College. “We hope that the tree will thrive for years to come and that future generations of Tusculum students will be able to celebrate and appreciate this wonder of nature.”
The Old Oak sits on the Tusculum College campus next to Old College and is estimated to be somewhere between 250 and 300 years old. It has remained a noticeable feature in the area since before the Reverend 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.
Last spring, the tree was officially named to the Tennessee Landmark Tree Register. The Landmark and Historic Tree Register allowed 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.