Colonial Williamsburg Compton Oak

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#1)  Colonial Williamsburg Compton Oak

Postby Larry Tucei » Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:11 am

I met Charles Gardner the Colonial Williamsburg Arborist at the Red Hill Conclave and got is contact information. I would be in the area for a couple of days so I wanted to check out a few large trees.  On Sunday I contacted him and we met up with his wife and a friend of mine. I want to thank him for taking the time to show me a few trees. The first was the Compton Oak a Hybrid cross between a Live Oak and a Overcup Oak.  "Planted in the early 1930s, the picturesque oak stands 70 feet tall and 97 feet wide; its trunk circumference is an impressive 14 feet when measured at chest height.

The evergreen oak is a natural hybrid, having a live oak and an overcup oak for parents. Legend says it was found growing wild in Pungo, a southern area of Virginia Beach, and transplanted in the early 1930s. The name honors Mrs. C.C. Compton, wife of a forest service employee in Natchez, Miss., and plant lover who initially brought the tree to the attention of Charles Sargent of the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard and author of "Trees of North America."

The tree's size and uniqueness makes it a stand-out specimen on Colonial Williamsburg's newest walking tour "Tall Treasures," which explores the diversity of the dozens of trees in the historic area."

               
                       
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It was a really large tree for less than 100 years old showing just how fast Live Oak can grow even though this one is a hybrid.  Charles told me that they have tried to grow the tree but it does not grow as a hybrid it reverts back.  I measured the tree and got Height- 60.5' , Crown Spread-112' x 111' and CBH-16' 7".
               
                       
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For this message the author Larry Tucei has received Likes - 2:
bbeduhn, Will Blozan
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#2)  Re: Colonial Williamsburg Compton Oak

Postby Don » Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:01 pm

That qualifies as a gobsmacker, especially its crown!
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#3)  Re: Colonial Williamsburg Compton Oak

Postby Rand » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:36 am

Charles told me that they have tried to grow the tree but it does not grow as a hybrid it reverts back.


I wondered if you could clarify this statement.  I assume you mean planted seeds revert back to the characteristics of one parent or the other.  It goes back to live oak?  Are both live oak and overcup oak present on the site for pollen sources?
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#4)  Re: Colonial Williamsburg Compton Oak

Postby Larry Tucei » Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:33 pm

Randy-  Both are present on site but this tree came from Louisiana.   I believe he said it goes back to Live Oak. I'll contact him to make sure.   Larry
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#5)  Re: Colonial Williamsburg Compton Oak

Postby bbeduhn » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:40 am

Wow! The size is tremendous for a young tree. I had no idea those oaks even crossed. If there weren't any records of its planting, I'd bet people would say it's 250 years old.
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#6)  Re: Colonial Williamsburg Compton Oak

Postby Larry Tucei » Thu Jun 29, 2017 5:39 pm

For sure Brian they always do.
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