Trees We Love: Amanda Cunningham & her Wye Oak Offspring

Amanda Cunningham and her Wye Oak

"Years ago I purchased two Wye Oak seedlings from the state’s Buckingham Forest Tree Nursery," says Amanda Cunningham,  Director of Programs for the Baltimore Tree Trust, " They were among the last saplings offered by the State Forester from the ancient Wye Oak, the nation’s largest white oak, which lived for over 460 years in Talbot County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore."

"At the time of planting, I think it was 1993; my back yard was dominated by my 30’ x 40’ vegetable garden – a love of labor that produced some delicious corn and a lot of weeds.  The seedlings were planted along two sides of my garden.  Hopefully, I thought, they will provide a pleasant shady spot."

"Well, it wasn’t long before I accidently mowed them both down – darn those weeds! But one sapling did survive to grow into a magnificent tree.  The tree outlasted the vegetable garden and is now the senior specimen of a naturalized no-mow area.  My Wye Oak stands 23’ in height with a 2’ DBH."

"White oak are said to be symbols of strength and longevity.  My little tree has certainly proved that to be so.  I think of its parent, the mighty Wye Oak, starting life growing alongside an Indian trail in the - 1500’s and surviving many storms and land changes over hundreds of years.  It is very humbling."