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Massive Oak Becomes Teaneck Historic Site

"Living witness" becomes first historic tree in Teaneck

The centuries-old red oak tree at the corner of Cedar Lane and Palisade Avenue is now officially a historic site, the first tree to receive such a designation in Teaneck. 

Residents have long fought to preserve the massive oak, and the town council last week formally marked the tree as the Teaneck's 16th historic site. 

The tree is said to be 250 to 300 years old and located on the site of the former Samuel Campbell farmhouse, built sometime before 1837. The property once stretched from the Hudson River to Hackensack River. 

"The tree was standing before the birth of our nation and before George Washington's retreat over the Hackensack River at Historic New Bridge Landing and, as such, is a remnant of a rural landscape that contributes to the historic character of the Township of Teaneck," states the council ordinance. 

A sign at the base of the tree calls it a "living witness to the history of Teaneck from Revolutionary days to present." 

Eugene Coleman, chair of the town's historic preservation commission, said the group sought historic status for the tree after fielding questions from residents, according to a NorthJersey.com report. 

Former property owner, the Union for Traditional Judaism, sought to cut down the tree but backed off after an outcry from locals in 2010. 

The Puffin Foundation donated money allowing the tree to be granted a conservation easement in an agreement with current property owner Congregation Netivot Shalom. 

Efforts to protect the red oak trace back to the 1970s, when Sen. Loretta Weinberg's late husband campaigned to stop a developer from chopping down the tree. 

Related News: 

  • Teaneck Celebrates Dedication of Historic Tree
  • Historic Tree Will Be Saved Attorney Says
  • Historic Oak Tree Gets County Protection


zizi February 11, 2013 at 02:21 PM
What a big waste of time and energy........
Art Vatsky February 11, 2013 at 04:12 PM
It seems to me Teaneck has more history in it than the school desegregation battles of the 1960s. If this tree could speak it could tell us of: the efforts to displace the indigenous peoples that lived here; the use of indentured servants from Europe and slaves from Africa (I never knew we had slaves in Teaneck until we had the burial site controversy several years ago) ; the noted retreat of the Revolutionary Army ; the involvement of "Lucky" Lindberg once he married his beloved from Englewood. Most of these people lived here, worked here, built what is today's Teaneck, their legacy to us. If we honor the tree, let us honor and recognize what happened in Teaneck while it has been alive. Teach it in our schools. Allow the historic places in Teaneck to be used so others can come and learn.
zizi February 12, 2013 at 02:31 PM
The dirt in Teaneck is older than the tree and probably has seen more stuff over the last couple of thousand years...... Let us have our state senator get back to work and get the dirt the historic nomination too.... that would make a great photo opportunity... as well......
shimon baum February 12, 2013 at 08:25 PM
Did George Washington himself carve his initials in this tree? The sad thing is it's probably the most exciting thing in this town.


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