Hurricane Sandy Downs Historic 400-Year-Old Oak



The city of Shelton, Connecticut, recently lost a historic oak tree believed to be at least 400 years old when Hurricane Sandy blew through the area in early November. It was not only the oldest tree in the city, but the tallest, at approximately 85 feet. Winds first blew off the top branch of the tree, which fell into power lines and cut off power to the neighborhood. John Miller, who lives across the street from the tree, said he heard a loud “crack” at about 6 p.m. “It sounded like thunder,” he said. Twenty minutes later, the entire top of the tree was taken off by another gust of wind.

Residents said that they were saddened by the loss, but not surprised. One resident said that the tree was a little hollowed out, although from outward appearances there was no indication of decay. The tree had been impacted by construction, which may have damaged its roots, and in the 1970s a construction crew planned on cutting it down until they discovered its historic nature.

“It’s sad to see it come down. There should be some kind of tribute for it,” said resident Lin Mulford.

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