The following message is from our Trustees and Session’s Planning Council and pertains to the present health of our beloved historic oak tree. We hope this update is helpful and promise to keep you posted on any new details or decisions.
In faith and love,
The Trustees and Planning Council of Session want to bring the congregation up to date on the current status of our majestic old oak tree.
Care of the tree is thoughtfully guided by our Board of Trustees, and for the past 35 years, through the professional services of a highly regarded arborist who has been its faithful guardian, expertly guiding its care through programs including leaf sprays, fertilizer, PH control, watering, pruning and maintenance of the extensive cabling and limb supports. Over the years, plans for any construction or renovation that would be conducted in the general proximity of the tree were carefully analyzed and refined so as to eliminate any potential adverse impact.
This program has no doubt helped extend the life of the tree, but it has not been able to reverse the inevitable aging process that faces all living things. The aging of our oak tree has accelerated over the past 10-15 years culminating in its current condition coming out of the past winter. We were hopeful for more of a leaf cover by late May.
The Trustees are currently in the process of engaging additional input from our arborist as well as analysis from other leading authorities with similar extensive expertise in the care of ancient large oaks, to develop the most prudent plan for its future. While we remain deeply respectful of its majestic nature and dignity, comprehensive and careful consideration is being given to the need to protect the safety of all who utilize the grounds around it.
The prevailing opinion is that the tree is approximately 600 years old which makes it one of the longest living white oaks on record. Our church has been blessed by the presence of this grand tree for its entire history — and the whole community is surely rooting for it.
Please be assured that this matter is being treated with a genuine sense of urgency and a commitment to thoroughly assess all options. We’ll provide regular updates to continue to keep the congregation advised as we prayerfully work out the many factors involved.