The remains of the Wye Oak supporting its clone The Wye Oak was the largest white oak tree in the United States and the State Tree of Maryland from 1941 until its demise in 2002. Wye Oak State Park preserves the site where the revered tree stood for more than 400 years in the town of Wye Mills, Talbot County, Maryland. The Wye Oak was believed to be over 460 years old at the time of its destruction during a severe thunderstorm on June 6, 2002. It measured in circumference of the trunk at breast height, high, with a crown spread of . It is believed that the acorn that became the oak germinated around the year 1540. The Wye Oak was still bearing a maturing crop of acorns when it was toppled. The Wye Oak drew public attention in 1909, when Maryland State Forester Fred W. Besley made the first official measurement of the tree. Ten years later, in 1919, it was featured in American Forestry magazine as the first tree in the American Forestry Association's "Tree Hall of Fame." The Wye Oak inspired Besley to found the Big Tree Champion Program in 1925; as a result, in 1940 the American Forestry Association named the Wye Oak one of its first National Champion Trees. By the time of its destruction 62 years later, only one other tree named that year remained standing. The tree faced a loss of a large limb in 1956 that sparked concerns, and another limb fell in 1984 that weighed 70,280 lbs. The tree fell during a heavy thunderstorm with high winds on the night of June 6, 2002. The tree's exceptionally long life has been attributed to the efforts of park managers, who applied preventative measures such as fertilizer and insecticide, as well as extensive pruning, cabling, and bracing to the branches.
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Wye Oak State Park
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