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.