Historic Hobson Oak Celebrated

Legacy bur oak will be honored and benefit local not-for-profits

The historic Hobson Oak tree located near the intersection of Hobson and Greene Roads is coming down in November. Arborists have determined the bur oak has reached the end of its life and the resulting decay makes it time to remove the tree for safety reasons. 

The Hobson Oak sprouted in the river valley of the East Branch of the DuPage River before the American Revolution. It has been a landmark to Native Americans, farmers, commuters and residents.

The Barnard family owned and farmed the land followed by the Miller family. Today it is Seven Bridges subdivision and golf course. Local artist Marianne Lisson-Kuhn has drawn the Hobson Oak. “I’ve enjoyed seeing it all these years. The iconic characteristics are so striking. It brought a lot of joy,” she said.

The Naperville Parks Foundation and DuPage County will honor the tree’s legacy and preserve its wood for future use to benefit local not-for-profits. “The Hobson Oak has touched the hearts of many people,” said Jim Healy, President of the Naperville Parks Foundation and Public Works Chairman of the DuPage County Board. “We hope the wood from the Hobson Oak will allow woodcrafters and artists the opportunity to create many wonderful objects for future generations.”

john greene Realtor and Wehrli Furniture Company are working with the foundation to secure storage and kiln drying of the wood in addition to crafting unique furniture. “The Hobson Oak presents a story of strength, perseverance and beauty. We are offering not-for-profit agencies the opportunity to auction at their fundraisers a piece of furniture or artwork crafted from the wood of the Hobson Oak,” said Troy Cooper, a member of the Naperville Parks Foundation Board of Directors.

Before the tree is removed in mid-November, photographers are encouraged to capture the last images of the Hobson Oak on the landscape.  Photos will be made available on the foundation’s website.  Acorns have also been gathered in hopes of germinating saplings for sale. “We are proud to be a part of the preservation of this champion tree and its ties to our history,” said Tim Greene, President and CEO of john greene Realtor who grew up along Hobson Road.

On Sunday, November 6, 2016 from 1-2pm, several members of the community are meeting under the tree to tell stories about the Hobson Oak and say good-bye.  We encourage everyone to take the time to drive by and see the Hobson Oak one last time, and also to share their stories.

The Naperville Parks Foundation was established in 2011 to provide community support and awareness of the need for open spaces and to support facilities and programs of the Naperville Park District.  In addition, the Foundation provides funds for families in our community who cannot afford to sign up for park district programs.

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