Magazine article American Forests

Maryland's Wye Oak Successor?

Magazine article American Forests

Maryland's Wye Oak Successor?

Article excerpt

A white oak in northern Maryland once described as a "no-account tree" has a new designation--marvelous--and, experts say, is now the largest example of the species in the state.

Forestry officials have written the governor requesting it be named state tree, replacing the former titleholder, the national champion Wye Oak, which had held state tree honors from 1941 until it blew down in 2002.

The current national champion white oak is in Virginia.

The Maryland tree stands on Victor and Linda Pepe's farm in northwest Montgomery County. They told the Washington Post the farm's previous owner had dismissed the tree as no-account and ready to die. Seventeen years later the tree is poised to take state champion honors from the current co-champs, white oaks in Anne Arundel and Cecil counties.

Flora's Oak, as the tree is known, is thought to be 200 to 300 years old. At 107 feet tall with a circumference of 22.3 feet and a crown spread of 115 feet, it's 11 feet taller but not as wide as the Wye Oak, which had a circumference of 31 feet and a crown spread of 119. …

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