"Peoria's Tricentennial Giant Oak Tree" Top 5 Page for this destination United States of America Off The Beaten Path Tip by deecat

  Giant Bur Oak in Peoria
by deecat

If you're ever near Peoria, Illinois, stop at Bluff Historical District (High &Moss Streets) to see the "Sentinel on the Bluff", a gigantic Bur Oak.

In the mid 1600's, the French explorers toured this region inhabited by Peoria Native Americans, & in the 1750's early surveys by European settlers include a reference to this particular tree.
In the 1850's, Dr. & Mrs. E.H. Bradley acquire the land upon which the tree stands; 1930's the Bradley family purchases adjoining backlot, has large house razed to allow tree's roots to grow unhampered!

Later, in the 1960's, The Park District purchases the site to save the oak tree.

1971: site is illuminated, & 3 years later, Giant Oak Park becomes l name of the tree site.
1976, the tree is designated a "Bicentennial Tree" by the International Society of Arboriculture & National Arborist Association because the tree was living during the American Revolutionary Period.
During the years of 1976-1977, Frank Hanbury, Jr collects 200 acorns from the tree & plants them in 4 western states.

By 1991, The Giant Oak Tree is designated Peoria's "Tricentennial Tree", & the beginning of a seed propagation project by Illinois Department of Conservation & Peoria Urban Forestry Board begins.

1992-1993 sees the Peoria City Beautiful, City of Peoria, & the Peoria Park District, through deed of land transfer secure the eastward expansion of the tree's root system.

From 1994 until today (2005), Peoria Park District owns & maintains the Giant Oak Park.
Where did I receive this history of the tree?
I discovered it on a brass placard within the enclosed portion of the park. The tree has been protected by a black wrought-iron fence so it is not vandalized or damaged in any way.

Dimensions of the Giant Oak: (1994)
50 feet high
110-foot spread
54.5 inch trunk diameter

The Brass Commemoration ends with these stirring words: "To the brave old oak tree, Cheers!"

othercontact: High Street in Giant Oak Park

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Mar 4, 2005
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