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Study Finds Bedford's 500-Year-Old Oak Tree In Good Health

The Bedford Oak, estimated to be about 500 years old, is in good health according to a new study.
The Bedford Oak, estimated to be about 500 years old, is in good health according to a new study. Photo Credit: Flickr user Sonja Lovas

BEDFORD, N.Y. -- A high-tech study conducted on Bedford's most famous tree, a 500-year-old white oak at the intersection of Route 22 and The Hook Road, has found it to be in "overall good health" and should live for many more years to come with proper care.

After a limb recently fell off, SavATree took an in-depth look into the tree using visual observation and radar to assess its health.

The scan inspected a 27-inch section of limb that had previously been cut and stands 20-feet above the ground. Radar was also used to explore the trunk and the roots at different points.

The scan found very early stages of saprot in both the branch and a part of the tree, but the study says there is "no cause for alarm."

"There is no treatment or cure to stop decay in the tree, but optimizing tree health can delay the process and maximize tree longevity," according to the study.

The study recommends trimming the "crown" area of the branches by 10-percent this winter and another 10-percent over the following three years depending on the tree's response. This is expected to help bring the weight of the branches closer to the trunk, lowering the chance of a branch breaking off and falling.

It also recommends to include ArborBalance in the tree's regimen, replace the current turf near the roots with composited mulch and place benches and paths outside of the zone where visitors could potentially get hit by a falling branch.

It is estimated to cost the town $5,650 over the next three years to maintain the tree.

The oak is more than 30 feet thick at its biggest girth and its branches spread more than 120 feet from tip to tip.

The land the oak sits on has been owned by the town since 1977.

See the full SavATree study here .

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