Digital Commonwealth

Quercus alba Massachusetts (Dedham)

Quercus alba Massachusetts (Dedham)

Item Information

Title:
Quercus alba Massachusetts (Dedham)
Title (alt.):
Tree habit with woman
Description:
Quercus alba Massachusetts (Dedham). Trunk of the Avery oak. Girth at 6 ft. is 16 ft. 6 inches. Owned by the Dedham Historical Society.
Photographer:
Wilson, Ernest Henry, 1876-1930
Collector:
Wilson, Ernest Henry, 1876-1930
Date:
December 8, 1923
Format:
Photographs
Genre:
Glass negatives
Location:
Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library
Collection (local):
Photographs of Ernest Henry Wilson
Series:
New England Trees
Subjects:
Oaks
White oak
Places:
MassachusettsNorfolk (county)Dedham
Extent:
1 negative : glass ; 20.5 x 15.5 cm.
Permalink:
Terms of Use:
(c) President and Fellows of Harvard College. Arnold Arboretum Archives. Permission to publish archival materials and / or images in a publication, performance, or broadcast must first contact the library for permission < hortlib@arnarb.harvard.edu >. Our policies and forms for use of the library and archival materials can be accessed at http://arboretum.harvard.edu/library/services/
All rights reserved.
Notes:
The Avery Oak is a town icon for Dedham, Massachusetts, and dendrochronology shows that the tree actually matured fully before the town of Dedham (previously called “Contentment”) was founded in 1636. The tree was initially a center for religious meetings prior to the establishment of Parish Church in 1638, and the tree was also a town bulletin board for announcing notices and events in the 1880s. The tree almost became construction material for “Old Ironsides.” Mr. Avery was offered 70 dollars for the tree, but declined the offer because Mrs. Avery was supposedly very attached to the tree. William Avery did, however, make a chair and table from branches that fell down during a violent thunderstorm. He presented the chair and table to Dedham Historical Society. The Historical Society was also given the tree itself in 1886 and tree surgeons struggled to keep it thriving. A 1938 hurricane damaged the tree beyond repair, and in 1973 another thunderstorm finally destroyed it. The pieces of the tree are guarded by police in the historical society, since people try to sneak away with branches and other parts of the tree as souvenirs (mostly from Todd Finestone, “Avery Oak: Gone but Not Forgotten,” DT August 6, 1975, From Dedham Public Library http://library.dedham-ma.gov/node/173) further reading: Simmons 47-51; Robert C. Roberts, “A Tree Above Price,” American Forests July 1969, 36 and 52, From Dedham Public Library http://library.dedham-ma.gov/node/173; Jane Greenough Avery, Genealogical Record of the Dedham Branch of the Avery Family in America (Plymouth: Avery and Doten, 1893).
Accession #:
13285
Identifier:
AAW-022
M-22