A Tree Near This City That Is Nearly 320 Years Old

Alas, the tree described here as “a beautiful spreading tulip tree towering over 125 feet high” is no longer standing. But there is a nice tribute page online which has several photos of the tree, and of the plaque that now marks the spot where the tree once stood.

Should you wish to visit the plaque, you can follow these directions from the article:

For the benefit of those readers who might like, sometime, to pay it a visit — it is really wonderful when one stops to think that there is actualy [sic] one tree in Manhattan of such great age — here are the directions how to find it. Take a Broadway Subway, and get off at the Two Hundred and Seventh Street station. Walk directly west along Emerson Avenue about a mile, or until you nearly reach the edge of the woods — Cold Spring Grove. Then bear off northwest along either one of the two roads — paths they really are — that lead toward the water, and then — well, ask anyone who lives in the little houses bordering the creek to direct you to the “big tree” — they’ll do so.

Well, Cold Spring Grove is now Inwood Hill Park, and the paths may have changed a bit in the past 100 years, but it should still be a nice place to visit. The park is the largest remaining forest land on Manhattan, and walking through those woods it’s easy to forget you’re on the same island as a concrete jungle.

Incidentally, the oldest living tree in the city is now 331-year-old English Elm tree in Washington Square Park known as Hangman’s Elm. Legend has it that the tree was used for public hangings, although there are no records that verify this.

A TREE NEAR THIS CITY THAT IS NEARLY 320 YEARS OLD: It Has Withstood the Storms of Centuries and the Axe of Progress and Is a Rarity (PDF)

From July 3, 1910

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