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Hobson Oak is coming down today, November 17


Hobson Oak, Nov. 2, 2016

Today local tree care professionals will begin taking down the historic Hobson Oak, located near the intersection of Hobson and Greene roads.

Work was expected to begin at 7AM Thurs., Nov. 17, according to Forest Preserve District of DuPage County Commissioner Mary Lou Wehrli.

Arborists have determined the bur oak has reached the end of its life and the resulting decay makes it time to remove the tree for safety reasons.

When it comes down, experts will be able to determine its age, noted Wehrli who also serves on the board of the Naperville Parks Foundation. Wehrli has been gathering stories and memories about the mighty tree.

UPDATE, Nov. 17, 2016 / PHOTO GALLERY / Photos were taken between 7:45AM and noon.

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As the branches were cut by professionals in a cherry picker, safety came first while large logs were loaded on flatbeds to be taken away for storage and future creations in wood. The inside of the massive tree trunk was as soft as sawdust, providing a home for wild little critters with their stashes of acorns in the hollow drama that no one could see.

The age of the tree that stood to watch over the farmland near the DuPage River is still unknown. Wehrli is convinced the rings on the first lower branches will give a pretty accurate count.

It’s a wonder that the historic bur oak grew with strong roots, witness to passersby for more than 185 years for certain, and came down with all those memories in five hours.

Several years ago Naperville arist Marianne Lisson Kuhn wrote at story about the bur oak that she also woodburned into the rocking chair along with an image of the landmark tree.

Hobson Oak

The strong and mighty oak of yesterday

Long ago, a sapling stood on this Midwest prairie before pioneers made their way west. It grew to provide shade for weary travelers and their horses. “The mighty oak” stood strong against bitter cold and scorching heat. So much has it witnessed from the Native American Indians who may have made homes nearby, to the first sound of an airplane flying overhead. If you listen carefully, you can hear tales whispered in the gentle rustling of its leaves.

—Marianne Lisson Kuhn

Guess the age of the Hobson Oak

PN editors welcome readers to guess the age of the Hobson Oak that dates back before Joe Naper and other settlers arrived to settle along the DuPage River in 1831.  The person who guesses closest will receive one of Marianne Lisson Kuhn’s limited-edition prints of the tree.

Champion European Ash in Fredenhagen Park

In addition, PN is raising awareness about the enduring structure of the Champion Ash Tree in Fredenhagen Park along the Naperville Riverwalk near the entrance to North Central College.  The landmark ash tree sits on the site of the old Naperville Creamery, Prince Castles ice cream store and later Cock Robin Ice Cream. If only trees could talk!

Another five readers who come closest to guessing the age of the Hobson Oak tree will win a Cock Robin “One in a Million” t-shirt.

Simply guess the age of the Hobson Oak and post your answer in the “comments” at the bottom of this page, include first and last name. Or post on the Positively Naperville Facebook with the story about the tree.

Place “Hobson Oak Age” in the subject line. Thank you.


Advice from a Tree

Dear Friend,
Stand Tall and Proud
Sink your roots deeply into the Earth
Reflect the light of your true nature
Think long term
Go out on a limb
Remember your place among all living beings
Embrace with you the changing seasons
For each yields its own abundance
The Energy and Birth of Spring
The Growth and Contentment of Summer
The Wisdom to let go like leaves in the Fall
The Rest and Quiet renewal of Winter
Feel the wind and the sun
And delight in their presence
Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
And the mystery of the stars at night
Seek Nourishment from the good things in life
Simple pleasures
Earth, fresh air, light
Be content with you natural beauty
Drink plenty of water
Let your limbs away and dance in the breezes
Be flexible
Remember your roots
Enjoy the view!

—Ilan Shamir

Poem presented to PN by Carolyn Finzer




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PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.

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