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How old is the oak tree that is fenced at I-140 and Market Street next to Lowe’s Home Improvement?

Amanda Lisk

According to Bill Walker of the North Carolina Forest Service that Live Oak is well over 200 years old. He estimates between 200 and 400 years old.

To try to get a more accurate age would do damage to the tree, says Walker.

Typically to determine a tree’s age, a core sample is needed, which is retrieved by boring into the tree. Since trees add a layer of self-structure to the outside of the tree and beneath the bark each year, the rings of the core sample can be counted to determine the age. However, for a hardwood tree like this oak, that means a rather large borer would have to be used to get a sample causing a rather large hole and most likely causing significant damage to the tree.

Walker says the Market Street oak used to be listed as a North Carolina Co-Champion tree, but is not anymore despite being taller than North Carolina’s official largest oak in the state and designated Champion at Airlie Gardens measuring 128 feet tall.

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