If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it fall, does it make a sound? At York River State Park the answer to this age old question is a resounding “No.”
The park lost an iconic figure to its 40 mile trail system on July 13, 2016. The silent sentinel in the form of a White Oak tree (Quercus alba) has at last fallen.
The once majestic oak; of which the trail it hailed upon is named, stood for an estimated 265 years.
Some say it could even have been a sapling when Powhatan and Pocahontas roamed these very woods. Its giant 8 foot diameter statue stood 79 feet tall in its glory days and its vast canopy stretched 58 feet wide. Even with its enormous structure, in the end its hollowed out core clung to life by only a thin thread of wood about 4 inches thick.
The iconic Majestic Oak
I always admired that tree. Being the park’s Chief Ranger for 18 years I saw my two daughters grow up under the shade of its unfailing branches. Living on site, my family and I would take many a walk out to its grandeur just to give it “a hug.” My oldest even wrote a poem about it for her 7th grade literature class entitled: “If trees could talk the tales they’d tell.”
Canopy opening from the Majestic Oak
But silence is golden and silent this tree will forever be….continue reading here