LETCHWORTH STATE PARK — A sprouted acorn tree officially returned to Letchworth State Park on Thursday to carry forward the legacy of its parent, the fallen Anderson Oak.
The new tree will grow up on the lawn of the Glen Iris Inn, the historic home of William Pryor Letchworth, a few yards from where its parent once stood — the latter a proud white oak planted by Martin Brewer Anderson.
Anderson was the first president of the University of Rochester and a friend of William Pryor Letchworth’s through the New York State Board of Charities. He planted the tree as a gift to Letchworth in 1877.
Over the next approximately 140 years, the tree grew to about 100 feet tall.
In late July 2018, a windstorm knocked off the old tree’s crown and several limbs, revealing a partially hollow trunk. Its fate was sealed at that point, and its removal was inevitable.
After the tree was removed, longtime park volunteer Ken Wallace mentioned that long ago, tree-loving park employee Gary Lamitina gave him a single sprouting acorn from the Anderson Oak, and that it had grown to about 20 feet tall. Wallace offered to donate the tree back to the Park to replace its parent on the Glen Iris lawn.
Park maintenance crews carefully transplanted the tree in a patient process over several hours.
The park has watched the tree’s progress.
“On Arbor Day 2021, we formally welcome the tree to the Glen Iris lawn near Letchworth’s impressive memorial tree collection,” park officials said in a news release.
For further information, call (585)493-3600 or write to Letchworth State Park, One Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY 14427.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which are visited by 71 million people annually.