Union County College Continues Legacy of Basking Ridge White Oak by Donating its Progeny

In the Historic Tree Grove, at Union County College’s Cranford Campus, the young white oak is removed from the ground to be relocated to the churchyard of the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church Credits:

CRANFORD – Union County College President Margaret M. McMenamin led the celebration of the donation of the progeny of the Basking Ridge White Oak Tree on April 11. President McMenamin was joined by Union County College Board of Trustees Chairman Victor M. Richel, Union County Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen, Co-chair of the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church Committee Bill Emmitt, Bernards Township Administrator Bruce McArthur, Union’s Professor of Biology Dr. Thomas H. Ombrello, and Union students at the ceremony marking the removal of the progeny of the Basking Ridge Oak Tree from the College’s Historic Tree Grove at the Cranford Campus. The tree was relocated to the churchyard of the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church later in the afternoon.

President McMenamin introduced the various attendees who helped make this exchange possible, noting that it was made possible due to the generosity of the students who decided to donate the progeny to maintain the legacy of the original oak tree. The original Basking Ridge White Oak survived approximately 600 years and is known to be the oldest oak tree in the country. Thanks to the work of Dr. Ombrello, who began the Historic Tree Grove in 1995, this donation was possible. The tree grove features offspring of almost 100 trees from notable historical events of the nation, such as Civil War battlefields and the homes of historic figures that include Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Wright Brothers, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

In 2001, Dr. Ombrello and a Union student collected two five-gallon buckets of acorns and harvested them in the Kellogg Greenhouse on the College’s Cranford campus. Many saplings grew from the acorns, but the strongest and hardiest of the saplings was planted in the tree grove and prospered there until its removal and relocation today. The tree will be planted in the churchyard, not far from its predecessor. Although the tree was an important part of the tree grove, it is more significant to the church because it will continue the legacy of the original tree.

In Dr. Ombrello’s speech to the attendees, he mentioned that he has one more sibling sapling of the original white oak. As part of the relocation process, soil from the churchyard grounds will be placed in the hole created from the removal of the tree in the grove. Dr. Ombrello is going to continue to nourish and care for the sibling sapling in his nursery with the hopes of planting it in the transplanted soil in the next year or so.



TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events

Sat, March 17, 5:30 PM

St. Francis Episcopal Church, Dunellen

St. Patrick's Day Annual Dinner

Food & Drink

Sun, March 18, 2:00 PM

Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield

Maple Sugar Sunday


Sun, March 18, 3:00 PM

Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, Plainfield

Crescent Concerts Presents Annual Festival of ...

Arts & Entertainment

Rep. Watson Coleman Urges Support for Students Participating in Protests: Letter to Local School Officials Asks for Encouragement Rather Than Punishment

March 16, 2018

EWING, NJ – Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) sent letters to principals and other school administrators in New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District urging support and encouragement for students who engage in protests and demonstrations for gun violence prevention amid reports that some New Jersey schools had suspended or otherwise punished students for their ...

Statement from Linden 9th Ward Councilman Armando Medina Regarding June 2017 Democratic Primary

March 12, 2018

This June I will seek the Democratic nomination for 9th Ward Council in the City of Linden. It has been my privilege to represent the 9th Ward since 2013. 

The residents of the 9th Ward expect independent leadership that above all puts the taxpayer first. A few weeks ago, I announced I would run as part of a team headed by Mayor Armstead. Since then, I have heard from many residents and ...

Bayonne Police: Second Teen Arrested for Recent School Threats

March 14, 2018

BAYONNE, NJ - A second teen was charged for last week's social media school shooting threats.

According to Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis, police arrested a local 13-year-old for false public alarm and making terroristic threats after detectives determined the student was responsible for a SnapChat involving a Bayonne private school.

Davis said police determined the teen made a ...

Celebrando el Mes de la Historia de la Mujer

March 16, 2018

PLAINFIELD, NJ - Estimados Plainfield,

Yo fui criado por dos mujeres poderosas e generosas, y me pasaron principios y valores que me han guiado durante mi vida entera. Mi mama persiguió la oportunidad y busco una manera de proveer para su familia. Ella dejo la isla de Barbados para poder trabajar en los hogares de los Estados Unidos, creando e allanando un camino para que sus hijos lo ...

Innovador Plainfield

Estimados Plainfield,


El crecimiento requiere evolución, la evolución implica cambio, y el cambio conduce a la innovación. Plainfield está evolucionando. Nos estamos adaptando para cumplir con los requisitos del renacimiento que está formando el futuro. No podemos esperar cambio positivo y sostenible si continuamos con el mismo ritmo de las ...

Distrito escolar de Plainfield anuncia ganadores de Feria de las Ciencias

PLAINFIELD, NJ - La Oficina de Tecnología, Ciencias e Instrucción de las Escuelas Públicas de Plainfield anunció a los ganadores de la Feria de Ciencias 2018, en una recepción celebrada el jueves 1 de marzo de 2018 en la Escuela Primaria Clinton.

Veintiocho de los 178 estudiantes en grados 4-12 recibieron los máximos honores después de presentar ...

Rapps Pharmacy: What You Need To Know About The Flu

There seems to be no end in sight for the current flu season which has touched every part of the country, and right here in New Jersey.  Rapps Pharmacy, an independent, full service, and locally owned Plainfield neighborhood pharmacy, offers these tips:  

As influenza virus activity increases and is likely to continue circulating for upcoming weeks, the Centers for Disease Control ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...

Ian Hockley Visits New Jersey to Introduce Program to Empower Youth

This week I am taking a departure from book reviewing to share an important program that has been introduced to New Jersey this week by Mr. Ian Hockley, founder of the Dylan's Wings of Change Foundation. On December 14, 2012, Hockley's five year old son, an autistic child named Dylan, was gunned down in his classroom in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Dylan, a shy and adorable ...

Lilli DeJong by Janet Benton

Lilli De Jong by Janet Benton (Doubleday, 2017)


“It's said that every woman's painful labor is God's punishment. Eve ate an apple, and God pours wrath on every mother. So the Bible tells it.” (p.320)

The story of Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden, which is the Biblical explanation for the extreme pains of childbirth, casts women in the role of ...

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb (Altria, 2015)


Years later, after the tragedy, someone remembered the Dumb Supper and what had happened there. That was the cause of it, they said, because the ritual wasn't a game after all. It really was magic, but magic has rules, and she broke them. Even when they call it a 'senseless tragedy,' people always try to find a ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs (Bantom,2017)

How does a writer of a beloved series like Harry Potter or Temperance Brennan break out of their readers' expectations and try something new? For J.K. Rowlings it was the novels penned under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith; books about a maimed and very flawed private detective with the unlikely name of Cormoran Strike. For Kathy Reichs, it is the ...