Quercus alba

White Oak: Sign-Eating Tree


Nolt and Colebrook Roads (490 Colebrook), Mount Joy PA


Jack Brubaker (LNP, June 6, 2018, p. A18); Jim Hoffman; Sylvia Hernley


According to Jack Brubaker, over a century ago someone nailed a metal directional sign to a White Oak which, by the middle of the 20th century, grew over it to form “two bark knobs.” By 2018 no one knew what the sign said (possibly it gave the distance to Maytown). The tree fell on May 20, 2018,  before the presence of an embedded sign could be verified with a metal detector. “What was a natural curiosity,” Brubaker said, “has become a historical curiosity.”