History of the Hobson Oak Project

The Hobson Oak Project

Naperville Outdoor Alliance partnered with Morton Arboretum and Possibility Place Nursery to germinate and nurture the very last acorns to fall from the Hobson Oak. For over 250 years the bur oak was a landmark on Hobson Road near the East Branch of the DuPage River. It was carefully taken down November 17, 2016. Today its scions are ready for their forever dirt to send out roots and branches to embrace the 21st century and beyond.

Naperville Outdoor Alliance is a 501(c)(3) IMPACT! organization with a mission to make outdoor recreation abundant and accessible to the community. Together with public agencies, private entities, other IMPACT! (not-for-profit) organizations and community members NOA attracts resources to improve the natural environment and responsible, fun access for all.

Support a Hobson Oak Seedling today!

If you have no place for a bur oak please consider sponsoring one. There are public and private properties that can welcome a Hobson Oak Seedling. Already parks and tornado damaged landscapes have received Hobson bur oak seedlings. Sponsor a Hobson Bur Oak! 200 seedlings are ready to plant.

Background

A Legacy Tree in DuPage County

The Hobson Oak was located near Hobson and Greene Roads in DuPage County, Illinois. It was a legacy bur oak  that stood proud and strong since pre-settlement days. It has been carefully taken down. Over many decades the tree was pinched and challenged by urban development.

The Hobson Oak began on the Illinois prairie in the river valley now known as the East Branch of the DuPage River. The footfalls of buffalo and Native Americans created a trail alongside its flourishing limbs. In the 1830’s a dirt road carrying wagons, cows and horses brought settlers under its shade. Next came the farmers gravel road spewing grey dust onto its leaves as the county grew. The road was eventually improved to a two-lane asphalt road.

In recent years the tree’s roots were cut to widen Hobson Road and accommodate concrete curbs and gutters. On the other side of the tree a nearby multi-use bike trail was built and a fire hydrant put in place.

The majestic Hobson Oak was carefully taken down November 17, 2016. The idea is to sell saplings and woodcrafts of the Hobson Oak to benefit local charities. Acorns are being germinated by the Morton Arboretum. Wood will be kiln dried and given to local artisans to create artwork that will be auctioned for charity.