The Merry Oak, located on the grounds of Smithfield Plantation, was claimed by a storm early on Tuesday, May 19.
The tree, a white oak, is known to be approximately 350-450 years old and held significant historical importance to the enslaved people at Smithfield Plantation nearly 250 years ago, as well as their descendants.
Virginia Tech is deeply engaged in the stewardship of historical trees on the Blacksburg campus. Led by the university arborist, long-term efforts were underway to preserve the site where the Merry Oak is located and to celebrate the tree, which had suffered substantial structural problems due to old age.
All avenues will be explored around the potential reseeding of the Merry Oak and to utilize its wood for memorial and academic activities.
Click here to learn more about tree stewardship at Virginia Tech, including the Campus Tree Inventory and Interactive Map, university arborist, and more.
For more information on Smithfield Plantation, click here.