Virtual Tour


You have probably learned that a tree's age can be told by counting the rings that are visible when you cut the trunk in half. This wonderful old white oak tree was 235 when Hurricane Isabel came tearing through the Washington area in the fall of 2003. The force of the winds just pushed the tree over, ripping its roots right out of the ground. We thought visitors might like to see such an old tree up close, so we left it lying where it fell.

Middle of oak tree trunk
Middle of oak tree trunk cut away where it crosses the path.
The top of the tree is to the left on the other side of the path.

Bonus fact:
A tree ring is a layer of cells produced by a tree in one year. In spring, when warm temperatures and longer hours of daylight cause trees to produce another year's worth of leaves, the tree creates new cells to carry water and food from the roots to the topmost branches. At the end of the summer when the tree begins to get ready for winter, this growth stops and the end of that year's ring is marked by darker colored cells.

How to find the tree stump at the Arboretum:
Enter the Fern Valley collection on the path across from the Youth Garden. Follow the path down the hill and to the right. Cross the stream where you first see stones going over it. Turn right down the path on the other side of the stream. Keep walking until you see the fallen tree.

Scientific name for white oak: Quercus alba

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Last Updated   July 10, 2009 10:06 AM