Morgantown in Monongalia County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
This gnarled old tree, over five feet in diameter, is believed to be the third or fourth largest chinquapin oak in the world. The tree lost its top long ago, probably before 1900. The tree is hollow but still alive. The best estimates of its age suggest that this oak may have begun to grow at about the time English settlers first arrived at Jamestown, Virginia. The tree was certainly well established by the time of the American revolution, and very large by the time of the Civil War.
Chinquapin oak (Quercus muehlenbergii) occurs from New York to Texas. Within most of this range, it is a medium-sized tree found on dry sites. Only in the Ohio River basin does it commonly grow in richer soils and develop into a massive tree. Chinquapin oaks have variable leaves. Large, broad "shade leaves” occur in subdued light. Smaller, much narrower "sun leaves” grow in bright light, high in the crowns of dominant trees.
The old chinquapin oak died in 2001. Analysis of annual rings showed its trunk was about two feet in diameter in 1606! The tree almost certainly began to grow before Columbus crossed the Atlantic,
Erected 1995 by West Virginia University Biology Department.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Horticulture & Forestry • Notable Events. A significant historical year for this entry is 1900.
Location. 39° 38.844′ N, 79° 58.972′ W. Marker is in Morgantown, West Virginia, in Monongalia County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Monongahela Boulevard (U.S. 19) and Evansdale Drive, on the right when traveling south. The marker is at the small visitor’s parking lot at the entrance to the Core Arboretum that can only be reached from the southbound lane. The marker is on the Sheldon Trail. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3450 Strausbaugh Trail, Morgantown WV 26505, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Hot Rod Hundley (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Jerry West (approx. 0.2 miles away); 9/11 Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); Veterans Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); West Virginia University (approx. ¼ mile away); Liberty Island Tree (approx. ¼ mile away); Core Arboretum (approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named Veterans Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Morgantown.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 19, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 17, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. This page has been viewed 123 times since then and 84 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 17, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.