With a trunk circumference (CBH) of 17 feet 6 inches at breast height, this stunning tree might approach 250 years old. Samuel Steman Haldeman was born in 1812, and the budding naturalist and philologist of such future eminence may have played and rested within its shade.
As of Summer 2018, this tree was suffering from Hypoxylon Canker. This affliction is a stress-related disease not uncommon in oaks (and red oaks are more vulnerable to stress than other oaks) caused by the fungus Hypoxylon atropunctatum. The fungus is a weak parasite that causes little harm to healthy trees but can be indicative of, and speed the passing of, a tree that is already dying.
This amazing species is so important as a fall food source for black bears that the abundance of its acorn crop can affect bear reproductive success the following year.