Turning Past Into Future: One of Bloomington’s Most Notable Trees

1845 – that is approximately the year this oak tree began its life, in what is now Seminary Park.

It’s amazing to think about all the changes that have occurred since then. More than 100 years later, when the Seminary Memorial Plaza was built in the 1990s, the already huge white oak was showing sign of health issues. Root decay was becoming evident on the west side of the tree.

To protect against severe damage, a lightning arrester system was installed. Eventually a full risk analysis in 2014 gave it a high hazard rating, and the tree was scheduled for removal.

Removing the Historic 115′ Tree


What Happened To It?

Knowing the value of such a resource, sections of the tree were set aside for wood slabbing and milling by Bluestone Organic. The resulting wood will be turned into furniture or other reclaimed wood products for the local market, depending on the aesthetic quality when the section is cut. What a story they will have to tell.

Bluestone Organic is a local source for organic mulch, compost and reclaimed wood.

📷 Seminary Park sign: HornColumbia, Wikimedia Commons