TUSCULUM, Tenn. -- The Old Oak, the large, white-oak tree that sits on the Tusculum College campus next to Old College, has been added to the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council’s Tennessee Landmark and Historic Tree Register.
The tree itself is between 250 and 300 years old and has remained a noticeable feature in the area since before the Rev. Samuel Witherspoon Doak founded the college.
As result, the oldest building on campus, Old College, was built in the Old Oak’s shade, and the tree has witnessed major events in American history such as the Civil War and Reconstruction.
According to Dollie Boyd, director of the Museums of Tusculum, a representative from the forestry council called it a “splendid” example of the White Oak variety.
“It is great to hear that the tree is healthy and that the best thing we can do to ensure its health is to leave it be,” Boyd said.
If left alone, the tree could live to be 400 years old, Boyd said.
The Landmark and Historic Tree Register allows for a brief history of the Old Oak to be added to the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council’s website, a plaque commemorating the tree and funding for a sign at the tree’s location.
Tusculum College is the oldest college in Tennessee and the 28th oldest in the nation.
Approximately twenty-one hundred students are enrolled on the main campus in Greeneville and three off-site locations in East Tennessee.