World’s Largest White Oak

Footnotes to Long Island History

SEPT 29 1949


Thomas R. Bayles

       Brookhaven town has the distinction of having within its boundaries the largest white oak tree in the world according to its registry in the National Archives at Washington D.C. This tree is located at Stony Brook on a little used dirt road called Lubber street.

       This grand old giant measures about seven feet in diameter and is 21 feet in circumference it rises to a height of 84 feet and has a spread of about 118 feet.

       Several years ago, the late Mrs. Frank Melville of Stonybrook employed tree experts to brace and otherwise protect the tree from damage it went through the 1938 hurricane with the loss of but a single branch. These experts reported the tree to be about 400 years old, so that it must have been a mighty tree of ripe old age when white men first settled on the shores of Long Island.

       Many are the tables this monarch of the forest could tell, of the Indians who walked beneath its branches before the advent of the white man. it must have echoed to the sound of gun fire in the skirmish at Setauket during the revolution. The ship builders of Setauket and Port Jefferson passed it by uncut, and forest fires have left it unscathed and so it stands today probably the oldest living thing on Long Island.

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