New Jersey

New Jersey Town’s Historic Oak Tree Falls After Nearly 600 Years

The Salem oak came down on Thursday evening, drawing people to mourn its loss

500 year old tree
Jamie Fisher

What to Know

  • The nearly 600-year-old Salem oak came down on Thursday evening, drawing people to mourn its loss.
  • The Salem Religious Society of Friends will meet to decide what to do with the remains.
  • The Environmental Protection Department said it was the largest white oak in New Jersey.

An oak tree that has stood over a southern New Jersey town for nearly 600 years has uprooted.

The Salem oak came down on Thursday evening, drawing people to mourn its loss.

The Salem Religious Society of Friends owns the tree and a graveyard that surrounds it. Society member Jim Waddington tells NJ.com the tree has been in declining health over the last 100 years despite efforts to preserve it. The group will meet to decide what to do with the remains.

It is believed Quaker John Fenwick, who brought the first English settlement to West Jersey in 1675, brokered a treaty with a Native American tribe under the tree's branches.

The Environmental Protection Department said it was the largest white oak in New Jersey.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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