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Witness Tree

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Come visit Witness Tree in Mineral Township, IL

Unfortunately, the Witness Tree had to be taken down on 2/9/24 due to being mostly hollow, losing large limbs, and fungus / mold spreading throughout the tree. The  Bureau County Soil and Water Conservation District stated, “We plan on salvaging some remnants from the tree for a memorial and for some keepsakes for the public.” They will be dedicating a new Witness Tree later this year. We will update this listing when there is news.

Bureau County’s Witness Tree is a 250-year-old bur oak which has served as a landmark and meeting site for at least 200 years. This mammoth oak’s burly trunk measures 14 feet in circumference with a branch spread of over 80 feet. The bur oak is a seminal Midwestern prairie tree with acorns so large that only one can fit in the palm of the hand. As early as the 19th century Potawatomi Indians, led by Chief Shabbona, held council at the tree with members of the Fox and Sauk tribes. The tree stands along the Old Indian Trail that once ran through northern Illinois, parallel and just north of today’s I 80. In 1944, local farmers donated small parcels of land surrounding the Witness Tree to ensure its preservation.

Located on County Road 10 southeast of Ponderosa Wilderness. Directions to Witness Tree, Co Rd 10, Mineral, IL 61344.

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