250-Year-Old Hobson Oak Cut Down, Symbolism To Continue

CHICAGO (CBS) — A bur oak tree which stood in DuPage County for 250 years is gone.

The 250-year-old tree known as the ‘Hobson Oak’ was taken down Thursday by DuPage County because it was decaying, but it’s story will live on. 

It was a landmark on Hobson Road near Greene Road, close to Naperville. WBBM’s Steve Miller reports.

“As it’s coming down, with each saw cut it was..it was…just so sad.”

Mary Lou Wehrli is secretary of the Naperville Parks Foundation.

“And yet we’re so proud that we were able to treat it respectfully by carefully cutting it and by carefully re-purposing it and allowing its symbolism to continue to be embraced by the community,” Wehrli said.

Preservationists decided the wood from the tree can be used to make furniture and artwork, instead of shredding the tree into wood chips.

Wehrli said artists will be able make objects from its wood and hopefully donate their work to charity auctions. Portions of the tree will be available in the coming months and the foundation is accepting artist applications.

But that is not the only way the tree will live on. Wehrli said t least two dozen acorns will also be planted to grow saplings.

“We’re going to have one or more planted along Hobson Road,certainly at a farther distance from the road,” Wehrli said. “And hopefully the progeny of the mother oak will continue to thrive.”

Updates on the tree will be posted on at hobsonoak.com and on its Facebook page, ‘The Hobson Oak.’

Written by: Steve Miller, CBS Chicago

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