“The Giant White Oak is located near Frystown, Bethel township on the dividing line between the properties of Paul Bahner (formerly the Herb Deck farm) and Curtist Batdorf. It measures 16-3/4 feet in circumference and 5 feet 3-1/2 inches in diameter. Mr. John Kitch of the Penna. Bureau of Forestry has estimated the tree to be over 300 years old or approximately 315 years; which means that this tree was already growing here when William Penn came in 1682. It is impossible to know the exact age until the tree is cut and the annual rings counted. The tree appears to be very healthy and since it is a “line tree” and barring any natural disasters, it could survive for many more years.”
– From the “History of Bethel and Tulpehocken Townships, Berks County Pennsylvania”, 1976, Historical Committee of Northwestern Berks Bicentennnial Committee
Sadly, the Giant Oak was struck by lightening in 2008. Damage to the tree, from the lightening strike and deterioration over the next 6 years, was extensive and the owner was afraid the trunk would fall & block the road to the farmhouse. Tree services were not willing to take on the job, until Allison took a look and decided to give it a try.
The noble tree was timbered and harvested at the Deanin farm by Woodlands Woodworks in 2016/2017. In fact, it is a red oak, not white, As one of the ancient oak trees of America, the trees rings that are remaining appear to be over 400 years old at a recent counting at approximately the 16 ft mark of the trunk. Accurate counting of the rings remains to be done using segments of the trunk.
Timbering the Great Oak Trunk
From Forest to Furniture. The Deanin Oak has been used in many projects, and its life continues on.