Wow! The Oldest Tree in New Jersey is Real American History
This is a story with deep roots! yes, pun intended. There may be no better way of judging time and history than when you are dealing with "trees". It is a way to estimate actual time and give age even when dealing with subjects that can be nearly 500 years old.
It's pretty awesome to see approximately a tree that began its life around the year 1622. Imagine over 400 plus years how many people in various times passed by this tree, maybe even sat under the tree. Trees see time and history pass right before them.
So as I pondered this approach to history, I decided to look into the "oldest tree" here in New Jersey. We have deep history here in the Garden State. According to Trees Unlimited NJ, there are several trees in New Jersey that have significant age and history behind them.
Among "living" trees according to this article, there are two trees that stick out as possibly the oldest trees in New Jersey. Both trees are 400 plus years old which of course dates these two back around the year 1600.
So what was happening in New Jersey during the 1600s? According to Google "It was called New Netherlands. Small trading colonies sprang up where the present towns of Hoboken and Jersey City are located. The Dutch, Swedes, and Finns were the first European settlers in New Jersey. Bergen, founded in 1660, was New Jersey's first permanent European settlement."
The first tree, approximately 400 plus years old, was a tree that even George Washington knew of. It's known as the George Washington Tree/Buttonball Tree. This tree is in Hope New Jersey just off Route 519 on the Swayze Inn Farm. Legend has it that while traveling from Pennsylvania to New York, President Washington stopped to rest under the shade of this tree during a heatwave in 1787. Interesting history for this Jersey sycamore tree.
The second tree, some 400-plus years old, is a "white ash' that sits in Madison, New Jersey. "This white ask began life as a sapling in 1625. It has survived disease, insects, deforestation, several wars, and urban development. It earned the title of the largest white ash tree in the entire country due to its long history of survival."
So these two trees may be our oldest "living" trees here in New Jersey. Amazing to think of what these trees have seen over their centuries alive in Jersey. True American history.
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