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What Is the State Tree of New Jersey? Characteristics, Facts & FAQ

Southern Red Oak_Marinodenisenko_Shutterstock

Did you know that each U.S. state and even a few U.S. territories has its own state tree? So, what is New Jersey’s state tree, and how did it pick between all the different trees in the state?

Moreover, why did it name a state tree in the first place? It’s actually an interesting story of how and why New Jersey named the majestic red oak its state tree.

trees & plants divider What Is the State Tree of New Jersey?

In 1950, New Jersey named the majestic red oak as its state tree. Interestingly enough, just one year later, in 1951, New Jersey also named an official memorial tree, which was the dogwood.

So, in 1949, New Jersey had no state trees, and by 1951, it had two!

How Did New Jersey Pick Its State Tree?

Northern Red Oak_Maren Winter_Shutterstock
Image By: Maren Winter, Shutterstock

While some states take input from schools or experts in the respective fields when they nominate “official” objects for the state, that’s not what New Jersey did with the red oak tree.

Instead, the governor at the time, Alfred E. Driscoll, and the state assembly took the liberty to decide the state tree. They picked the red oak tree because it symbolizes strength, dignity, beauty, and long life.

An abundance of red oak trees in the state was also a prerequisite, and since these trees thrive all along the eastern side of the United States, it met that requirement too.

Characteristics of the Majestic Red Oak Tree

While the majestic red oak tree gets beautiful deep-red foliage during the fall months, that’s not where it gets its name. That comes from the characteristically red wood that the tree possesses. While it’s an extremely beautiful color, that’s not the only impressive thing about the red oak tree.

For starters, a mature red oak tree stands anywhere between 60 and 70 feet tall and has a spread from 45 to 50 feet. These are massive trees, and they stay securely in place due to their extremely deep and dependable root system.

While storms can knock down red oak trees, they’re typically only taking out older trees that are already dying. With an average lifespan of 300 years, these trees rarely come down. Also, 300 years is just the average lifespan of these impressive trees. Sometimes they can live up to 500 years!

trees & plants divider Final Thoughts

Few trees are as impressive as the majestic red oak tree, so it’s not hard to see why New Jersey picked it as its official state tree. It’s an impressive tree that symbolizes many noble traits, so the next time you see one, think about what it represents.

If you happen to be in New Jersey when you spot one, you’ll understand why New Jersey wanted one of these majestic trees to represent the state!

Featured Image Credit: Marinodenisenko, Shutterstock


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