Union County Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen joined Union County College President Dr. Margaret McMenamin, Union County College Board of Trustees Chairman Victor M. Richel, Dr. Thomas M. Ombrello, a biology professor at the college, Bill Emmitt, co-chair of the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church Tree Committee, Bernards Township Administrator Bruce McArthur and students at the ceremony marking the removal for relocation of the progeny of the Basking Ridge Oak tree from Union County College’s Historic Tree Grove in Cranford.
The Basking Ridge White Oak tree, believed to be one of the oldest trees in North America, is estimated to be at least 600 years old and is located at the Presbyterian Church of Basking Ridge. Last year the tree was determined to be dead.
Dr. Ombrello collected acorns from the old tree in 2001and created a sapling that was planted in the tree grove in Cranford. The new 16-year-old, 20-foot-tall oak will be transported to the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church to continue growing in a spot near its predecessor.