Trek on 09/29/2011 09:24 PM:
From the columbiamissourian dot com
Arborists work to preserve McBaine bur oak tree
Tuesday, June 30, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT
Williamson, who owns the McBaine oak, also has an older graft of the tree in his front yard. Williamson was happy to see the original tree trimmed, grafted and pampered because it’s part of his family history.
“It’s kind of a historic landmark,” he said. “College students and people from the university have been coming down here to look at it all my life. My dad, who was born in 1902, remembered it as a big tree. It’s obviously genetically superior, but it’s also lucky.”
The MU Forestry Club bore a hole into the tree in the 1950s and counted the rings from the sample, Williamson said. They estimated the tree to be about 300 years old, so Williamson now considers it 350 years old and in good health, despite the fact that the McBaine oak has been struck by lightning several times and was surrounded by 6 feet of water for six weeks during floods in 1993.
“Trees don’t really heal like humans,” Russell said. “They just seal off the wound and form calluses, which stops it from decaying any further. This year, I went back and checked it, and it seems to be healing quite well.”
Russell was surprised to see more than half an inch of callus wood over the cuts where limbs had been trimmed away last year — something that usually takes years.
The tree has an official circumference of 287 inches and is 90 feet tall with a limb spread of 130 feet, according to the National Register of Big Trees. It has been the Missouri Champion bur oak for 22 years, Williamson said, and it is the national co-champion, tied with a tree in Woodford, Ky.