Maryland's State Tree: The White Oak

[Photo of Maryland's State Tree, the White Oak]
Photograph courtesy of the Governor's Press Office, State of Maryland
[Photo of the leaves of the White Oak]
[Photo of the bark of the White Oak]
Photographs courtesy of
MD Manual Online

Thanks to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for the picture above
[fallen tree]
Maryland's State Tree is the White Oak. It was symbolized by the Wye Oak that stood at Wye Mills on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It was more than 100 feet high, had a branch spread of 165 feet and a circumference of 31 feet, 10 inches. It was one of the largest in the world. On June 7, 2002, it was felled by powerful thunderstorms that also downed power lines throughout the area. It wasn't clear whether the tree was toppled by winds or by lightning. Gov. Parris N. Glendening said. "For more than 450 years, the Wye Oak has stood strong and tall, surviving winds, drought and diseases of nature, and even more remarkably, the human threats of chain saws and global warming."  


The Remains of the Wye Oak
Photograph courtesy of the Governor's Press Office, State of Maryland
[stump of the Wye Oak]
Although the Wye Oak is gone, its descendants live on. The state forest service grows seedlings from its acorns that are sold around the world, and workers from the Department of Natural Resources were taking cuttings from the tree the night after the tree fell, to graft onto root stock.

The marker in front of the Wye Oak says:

The Wye Oak
The largest White Oak in the United States. Estimated to be
400 years old (1940). Deeded to the State of Maryland
Sept. 20, 1939, and made a State Park.

Next to the Wye Oak is a small brick structure which has been furnished and restored to its status as a colonial period one-room schoolhouse. The schoolhouse is recorded as the second oldest existing schoolhouse in Talbot County.

© Copyright October 16, 1997, Office of the Secretary of State.
Last Modified September 16, 2003. bv