In June 6, 2019, New Jersey's oldest oak tree was tragically blown down in a storm. It was growing in the Salem Friends Meeting burying ground (cemetery) and estimated to be over 550 years old. It had been in decline for many years and eventually gave way to age and weather.
As a way to commemorate the nearly 600-year-old tree and all that it stood for, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection propagated seedlings from the tree to distribute to New Jersey's 565 municipalities. Propagating and distributing the seedlings provided a way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and the establishment of the Department of Environmental Protection. The location of the original Salem Oak in a Quaker burying ground prompted Randolph Township to ask the Association if it would be interested in planting Randolph's seedling on the Randolph Meeting House grounds. The request fit nicely with the Association's current effort to upgrade and restore the Meeting House landscape.
Randolph Township picked up its seedling in mid-April. The June 11 date for planting was chosen to coincide with Annual Meeting of the Friends Meeting House and Cemetery Association.
Anyone interesting in participating is welcome to attend. Come help restore the landscape of Randolph Township's oldest building and to encourage the preservation of Randolph Township's natural landscape. Overflow parking is available at Fernbrook School.
Randolph Township proudly supports the NJ Salem Oak Seedling Project and the mission of the Randolph Friends Meeting House to preserve our community’s historic landscapes.
To stay informed on all township updates and initiatives, visit the Randolph Township website, randolphnj.org and follow on social media: “Township of Randolph” on Facebook, and @randophtwpnj on Twitter and Instagram. You can also subscribe to the township’s weekly email at https://mailchi.mp/randolphnjedc/signup-form.