Hess Oak

97-21     We believe this is a Hess oak (Quercus ×hessiana). It was donated to Oak Ridge in 1997 by American Forests in honor of local woodworker Emmett Riley, who made 100 gavels from roots of the famous Lincoln Vault Oak. They sold those gavels nationwide (and donated one to Oak Ridge, which can be seen in the cemetery office) to help fund the Oak Ridge tree nursery founded by Guy Sternberg that produced so many of the unusual trees now seen here. It started as a seedling from an overcup oak (Quercus lyrata) growing at Lincoln’s birthplace in Kentucky, and the parent tree likely was pollinated by a nearby white oak (Quercus alba). We admire its hybrid vigor (heterosis), attractive foliage, and grand appearance. We think Lincoln, our great Civil War commander in chief, would be pleased to see his birthplace tree standing guard here at the war memorials.


39.819986 N, 89.661852 W


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