“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Wye Mills in Talbot County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

The Wye Oak

Preserving a Legacy

The Wye Oak Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 21, 2017
1. The Wye Oak Marker
Inscription. For well over 450 years, a quiet giant stood marking the passage of time for many generations. The Wye Oak survived through the birth of a nation, the Civil War, and two World Wars. Located alongside what was once a Native American Trail and later Route 662, the tree had countless visitors and admirers.

In 1909, one of those admirers, Maryland's first state forester, Fred W Besley, took the first official measurements of the tree. The tree quickly gained notoriety as the “largest and finest specimen of white oak in the country”.

The Wye Oak State Park marked, the first time a government purchased a single tree for preservation (1939).

In 1940, the American Forestry Association held a nationwide contest to locate the “largest living specimens of American trees.” The Wye Oak was the first tree to be named a national champion. It was one of only two trees to have held its title since the contests beginning, until it tragically fell in a storm in June of 2002.

The tree measured nearly 32 feet in circumference and 96 feet tall. Its crown spread over 119 feet covering nearly 1/3 of an acre. The main trunk of the tree weighed over 61,000 pounds.

New life is being brought to Wye Oak State Park. A clone of the mighty tree has been transplanted to this site to be
The Wye Oak Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 21, 2017
2. The Wye Oak Marker
enjoyed by a new generation of admirers.
Erected by Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Historic Trees marker series.
Location. 38° 56.362′ N, 76° 4.836′ W. Marker is in Wye Mills, Maryland, in Talbot County. Touch for map. This marker is in Wye Oak State Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 14214 Old Wye Mills Road, Wye Mills MD 21679, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Wye Oak * National Champion White Oak (here, next to this marker); Wye Oak House (here, next to this marker); The “Little House” in the Shade (a few steps from this marker); A Glimpse Inside a Giant (within shouting distance of this marker); Wye Grist Mill (approx. 0.2 miles away); A Brief History of the Mill (approx. 0.2 miles away); So, How Does a Mill Work? (approx. 0.2 miles away); Wye Grist Mill and Museum (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wye Mills.
Categories. Horticulture & Forestry
The Wye Oak image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 21, 2017
3. The Wye Oak
Close-up of 1955 A. Aubrey Bodine photo on marker
<i>Old House & Wye Oak, Old Wye Mills...</i> image. Click for full size.
E.H. Pickering (Historic American Buildings Survey), December 1936
4. Old House & Wye Oak, Old Wye Mills...
Although difficult to see here for the lack of contrast, the Oak had two plaques back then, possibly historical markers.
Signs image. Click for full size.
E. H. Pickering, Library of Congress, HABS, 1936
5. Signs

Stop and See
The Old
Wye Oak Tree

The Largest
White Oak Tree
Post Cards
For Sale

The Wye Oak
375 Years Old
Diameter 1 Ft. from ground 18' 8"
         4 ½ Ft. from ground 6' 6"
Horizontal Spread 140 1/2’
Height 88’
Largest Limb Diam. 2 1/2’

Detail of photo #4
Credits. This page was last revised on February 6, 2018. This page originally submitted on February 2, 2018, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 84 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 2, 2018, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   4. submitted on February 5, 2018.   5. submitted on February 5, 2018, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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