White Oak: Our Connection to William Penn?

By now most Kendalites will have had an opportunity to admire the new White Oak, Quercus alba, at the front entrance, on the Meeting House side.

This signature tree was found by Casey Groff, our staff horticulturalist, at Jennersville Landscape Nursery, and was moved with a 90-inch tree spade. It was grown by Jim Plyler from an acorn from the Penn Oak on the grounds of the London Grove Friends Meeting at the far end of Rt. 926, and is estimated to be about 15 years old. Jim is the son of Crosslands resident Dot Plyler.

The Penn Oak at London Grove is Pennsylvania State record White Oak, and is estimated to be perhaps 400 years old, with a girth of more than 22 feet. So our tree’s parent was here when William Penn arrived in 1682 and first set eyes on Penn’s Woods! If you haven’t seen it yet, go and enjoy it.

Oaks have been shown by Doug Tallamy (see “Bringing Nature Home”) to provide food for more insect larvae, and thus birds, than any other tree species. Our White Oak is reinforcing our emphasis on native plants at the Kendal campus, and is the focal point of planned new landscaping at the front entrance.


Martin Wells and Judy Czeiner, Photographer