Linden Oak

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Linden Oak
Photo of Linden Oak in May 2007
Linden Oak, May 2007
Species white oak (Quercus alba[1])
Location North Bethesda, Maryland
Coordinates 39°01′22″N 77°06′08″W / 39.0227679167°N 77.1022224444°W / 39.0227679167; -77.1022224444Coordinates: 39°01′22″N 77°06′08″W / 39.0227679167°N 77.1022224444°W / 39.0227679167; -77.1022224444
Date seeded c. 1718; 299 years ago (1718)[1]
Custodian Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission[1]

The Linden Oak is a large white oak tree in North Bethesda, Maryland, beside the junction of Rockville Pike and Rock Creek Park's Beach Drive. In 1978, a Maryland state agency estimated that it was seeded in 1718.[1]


According to the 2011 National Register of Big Trees[2] a tree in Indiana with a height of 110 feet (34 m) and a crown spread of 138 feet (42 m) is the largest white oak in the country. At a height of 97 feet (30 m) and a crown spread of 132 feet (40 m), when measured in February 2008 by the Maryland Big Tree Program,[3] however, it seems the Linden Oak could replace the national champion.[original research?]

The impressiveness of the great tree is somewhat diminished by the fact that five of its enormous, and lowermost, branches have had to be removed. One of the on-site plaques incorporates a photo of the tree in its former state.


The Linden Oak is acknowledged by three on-site plaques.

The first plaque, placed in July 1976 by the Maryland Bicentennial Commission and the Maryland Forest Service, celebrates the "Maryland Bicentennial Tree" for its great age.[1][4]

The second plaque, placed by the Montgomery County Department of Parks (also 1976) celebrates the "Linden Oak" as "the fourth largest of its species in the state of Maryland and the largest in Montgomery County". An age of over 250 years, height of over 95 feet (29 m) and crown spread of over 132 feet (40 m) are cited.[4]

The third plaque, placed by the Montgomery County Department of Park and Planning (no date), honors Idamae Garrott, a local politician and champion of the environment. Owing to her efforts in 1973, the adjacent stretch of the Washington Metro was built in an arc diverting around the tree to avoid disturbing it.[4]

Metrorail tracks[edit]

When the tracks of Metrorail's Red Line were built, they were routed westward in order to avoid the path of Linden Oak.[5][6]


The origin of the name "Linden Oak" is unknown, though it is a possible reference to Greek/Roman mythology when the pair Baucis and Philemon were turned into two intertwining trees upon their deaths; one oak, and the other linden.

Linden Oak, May 2007

See also[edit]

  • Wye Oak, a larger white oak in Wye Mills, Maryland that was destroyed by a windstorm in 2002.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Linden Oak". Maryland State Archives. Accessed on February 1, 2016.
  2. ^ Eberwein, Mary Beth. "Eastern White Oak (Quercus alba)". American Forests. 2011.
  3. ^ Bennett, John. "Big Tree Champions of Maryland." Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources. 2008.
  4. ^ a b c "2013 Register of Champion Trees". Montgomery County Forest Conservancy District Board. 2013.
  5. ^ Churchville, Victoria. "Sweeping Vista Featured: Special Features Give Grosvenor Station Distinctive Character". The Washington Post. August 24, 1984. p. C1.
  6. ^ Perez-Rivas, Manuel. "Going Out on a Limb To Save County Trees". The Washington Post. August 23, 2001. p. ME12.