We call her Betty. Betty White (Oak)! She was discovered during a New Year's Eve Oak Rescue at a private property along Route 14 in Harvard.
More than 30 volunteers gathered in 2011 at the site to clear brush from around an oak grove that was "hidden in plain sight"--hidden in plain view of thousands of cars that drive by every day. One of the volunteers spotted a large object through the buckthorn thicket. After investigating, he returned to say it was the largest white oak he had ever seen.
By lunchtime, we stood in awe, looking at the ancient oak. With a trunk dimeter of 54 inches, she is the largest white oak in McHenry County.
We named her Betty White because, like the actress, she is independent, full of character, and has been (and will be) an inspiration for generations! Betty can be seen in all her glory at Harvard Gateway Nature Park, a site purchased by The Land Conservancy of McHenry County in 2012.