The Wye Oak, Maryland's State Tree, was a great symbol of our heritage for more than 450 years
until it was felled by a storm on June 6, 2002. Fred Johnson, President of Johnson Logging Company,
volunteered his time and the use of his mill to cut up the remains of the Wye Oak after the storm. The
Departments of Natural Resources and General Services have worked with the Maryland State Arts
Council and the Governor’s staff to ensure the tree’s mighty legacy continues for hundreds of years to come.
Plans to commemorate the tree at Wye Oak State Park include:
Return of the bole or trunk to the park’s field;
Establishment of a Wye Oak exhibit in the schoolhouse on site;
Construction of a 3/4-mile nature trail from the park down to the Wye Mill.
Based on public feedback from hundreds of Marylanders, all portions of the tree will be used/preserved.
In addition to the desk for Governor’s office and benches for Wye Oak State Park, pieces will be distributed
to legislative branches, local governments and local churches for
fashioning of seals or other appropriate uses. Works of art for public
display, and offerings to the public through a lottery are options for the balance.
Currently the location of branches, twigs and leaves is at the John S. Ayton State Forest Tree Nursery,
Preston, Maryland. The Bole is presently being stored indoors at the Matapeake Facility in Stevensville,
New life is being brought to the Wye Oak. The tree that was symbolically planted on November 20, 2003 is
a cloned tree from the original Wye Oak. Given its valuable nature, this 1 ˝ year old tree was removed
after the ceremony and returned to the nursery. In a few years, once it reaches 5-6 feet it will be returned
to this site and replanted in this location. At that time, the park renovations should be completed.