Great Oak Hunt seeks the giants – New York News

ESPERANCE — Sometimes the most obvious things, like the largest trees in the country, can be the hardest to find.


According to the director of the George Landis Arboretum, Fred Breglia, finding record-breaking trees is a challenge because they’re often hidden in plain sight.

“You would think that the large trees would be easy to find because they stand out, but that’s a myth,” Breglia said. 

That’s why the Arboretum started the Great Oak Hunt. The organization is calling on people across the Capital Region and the nation to help them find the three biggest red oaks and the three biggest white oaks. 

The idea came after the largest white oak on the Arboretum’s property was destroyed several years ago.

“That was our logo for years. A lot of people got married under the oak tree, including me,” Breglia said.

The Oak was part of the reason the land was bought in the first place. Well before the Arboretum was founded, farmers bought the property after they spotted the oak. After the Arboretum was established in 1951, the tree remained the most iconic on the property.

But during Hurricane Irene, it broke apart. According to Breglia, most of its branches snapped, and the Arboretum lost the inspiration for their logo. 

“We still leave it there . . . the big carcass of a tree,” Breglia said. 

Ever since the hurricane, people have been asking the Arboretum where the next-largest tree in the state is. While the Arboretum has another large red oak on its property, it’s not the largest on record, so Breglia decided to turn the search into the Great Oak Hunt.

Specifically, he’s calling on the public’s…

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