I never like to witness a tree being cut down. On August 8th the community lost a sentinel red oak, Quercus rubra. While it had been in decline for a number of years, the Arboretum made efforts to stimulate growth and improve the overall health. It was recently decided by the Arboretum Manager, Bill Astifan in close consultation with Arborist, Jim Ward of the John B. Ward Tree Co. that the oak was a hazardous tree and needed to come down.
This red oak quietly graced a prominent spot on campus. After counting the growth rings, my estimation for age is approximately 114 years. Many will remember it on the south west corner of Barclay Hall. Parents and friends coming to campus passed under its branches on their walk to Commencement. Generations of ‘Fords enjoyed its cooling shade in their Barclay rooms. When the oak was planted on the south side of Barclay so many years ago, it was the intent that one day this tree would bestow shade to those rooms. Our oak did not disappoint on providing a cooling canopy or by offering a majestic and beautiful presence to the Haverford campus.