Video - Arborists think the Route 8 white oak could be two centuries old.
Rain and windstorms over the past weekend brought down at least two large branches on a Dover white oak tree thought to be at least 200 years old.
The tree, situated at the Olde Oak condominiums on Route 8, stands about 80 feet tall and is about 111 feet across, with a trunk circumference of about 212 inches, or 17 feet 8 inches.
Saturday revealed two branches on the eastern side of the tree had snapped; one of the two still was attached to the trunk, although the wood near its base was shredded.
The tree was standing on the land in 1984 when the area was little more open acreage covered in brush and weeds. Dover had annexed the 1,600-acre parcel in August 1969 when it was owned by Reynolds and Anna Reed. It later was purchased by the late Gov. David Buckson, who sold it to Dover builder Peter Brockstedt.
In a 2016 interview, Brockstedt said even though he cleared the land for construction of the Olde Oak condos, he kept the tree.
“I was literally stunned by its immense size, beauty, and symmetry,” Brockstedt said. “It was perfectly shaped in all respects.”
Although residents of the Olde Oak condos help pay for the tree’s upkeep, there was no word Monday morning when the splintered branches would be removed or of the overall fate of the tree.