While the Waverley oaks
are not as large nor as old as the big Redwoods
, they are the largest and oldest trees we have, and we are correspondingly proud of them.
Doubtless there is not another group of such notable trees in the eastern states.
There are twenty-five of them, the largest sending up its trunk eighty feet into the air, and measuring eighteen and one-half feet, five feet above the ground.
In 1845, one of the smaller trees was cut down.
counted the rings and found they numbered seven hundred and fifty.
So that Agassiz
' estimate that they must be in the neighborhood of a thousand years of age was not far wrong.
The distinguishing mark of the oak is its horizontal branching.
has spoken of this and says: ‘All the rest of the trees shirk the work of resisting gravity; the oak alone defies it. It chooses the horizontal direction for its limbs, so that their whole weight may tell, and stretches them out fifty or sixty feet, so that the strain may be mighty enough to be worth resisting.’
Here is an object lesson from nature, illustrating the strenuous life advocated by President Roosevelt
Here also is the repose which comes from native strength and endurance working in harmony with the laws which underlie all nature.
For eight hundred years or more these trees have braved the storms of winter and thrived under the sun and rain of summer.
Like the Redwoods of California
, they are our ‘emblems of permanence.’
‘There needs no crown to mark the forest's king.’
In their patient strength they seem to tower above all petty human concerns, and yet—is not the human mind and soul greater still?
The Waverley elm, near Beaver Brook
, must be at least one hundred and fifty years old.
Closely associated with the oaks in point of age are the trees of the Hemlock wood in the Arnold Arboretum
One writer calls it as primeval as those forests described by Longfellow
An atmosphere of mystery and solemnity pervades these woods; the very earth is carpeted in order that the silence may be more profound.
The height of the trees,