It is said that this tree , the Treaty Oak in Jacksonville Florida, is over 250 years old. Simple math gives me an idea of when this tree was a tiny sprout or young sapling emerging from a tiny acorn. That year is 1767 give or take a few years since we can only estimate its age. Andrew Jackson was born in 1767 and he would become our seventh President. Check out a $20 bill. Yeah, that guy.
This tree is old.
We here in the “colonies” were just questioning our rights to be taxed without representation in Parliament. This tree was a sapling and young tree before the Revolutionary War. The tree is old…and its secrets and history give it a reverence to me.
You know me, I write a lot about trees. Love them and love the permanence of a tree and hate to see one come down. I marvel at the bark and texture, size and circumference, they are such wonders of nature.
So when we saw a reference to this tree in Florida and knew we would be in Jacksonville, I had to see it for myself. ( Cue my husband complaining about me and my “damn plants.”)
Even My Husband Was Awestruck by the Treaty Oak
As you see in the video, even my husband was enthralled by the size of this tree. We all walked under and around it on the boardwalk which has been constructed to prevent damage to any roots etc. It has also been supported and supplied with lightning-diverting equipment.
It is a Southern Live Oak or Quercus virginiana, that is native to the southeastern United States. There are quite a few “famous” specimens across the South, and some are said to be from 400 to 1500 years old. I would love to see those too!
It was previously called the Giant Oak and was in the area of an old Dixieland Amusement Park. Babe Ruth played baseball there. John Phillip Sousa gave some concerts here in the picnic grounds at the times. Did I say this tree is old?
In a Tiny City Park
You have to find the park down in the inner city streets of Jacksonville. The tree cannot be appreciated from the street so you must park and walk over to it. There is a pull off bus ramp in front of the park and we parked there since we were only planning to stay a few minutes. Luckily, we didn’t get a ticket or anything.
Watch the video and you can see the awesome huge tree that has seen so much history . The park is named for Jessie Ball DuPont who purchased the land and donated it to the city expressly for the purpose of preserving the tree for generations to come. Even back to the early 1960s, people were becoming aware of protecting the environment we live in and I am glad they did.
Sure wish a Live Oak would grow in Ohio, but that’s not to be. I guess I will just have to go back down south again and see some more. My grandson loved the Live Oak trees he saw growing all over in Florida. They were perfect for climbing. I was a tree-climber in my younger years and I thought these branchy trees looked perfect to climb. I wanted to climb one, but that is way beyond what I can do now. ( This one he is in is NOT the Treaty Oak.)
Jerry, I hear there is a big Live Oak in Austin, Tx called the Treaty Oak too! Are you ready? When do I get to go west and see the redwoods and the Sequoia National Forest?