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Goodbye Bender

July 18, 2007

Bender Oak
I have the pleasure to work in one of the most beautiful settings in the tri-state area; the Scott Arboretum on Swarthmore College’s campus. The grounds has a great mix of really large, old trees, including an american elm (pic of the actual tree at MarthaStewart.com!) which escaped the dutch elm disease, giant tulip trees, massive beech, and this old bender oak, which sadly, is slated to be cut down within a week. It’s a sad, sad day for us tree huggers.

According to Scott, the Quercus xbenderi is the result of a naturally-occuring cross-fertilization between a red and a scarlet oak. Arboretum staff estimated its age between 150 and 300+ years old. Its trunk circumference is over 20 feet and its huge branches are supported with cables.

Apparently they’ll leave part of the trunk in place and a chainsaw artist will create a sculpture from it. Sounds like it could be pretty cheesy to me but I doubt it will be since the arboretum doesn’t do anything cheesy.

Goodbye old buddy.

There’s interesting facts, photos and measurements of old and tall trees over at the Eastern Native Tree Society‘s webpage.

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