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greason oak
Don Ward of Carlisle cuts off a piece of the famous Greason Oak, located in front of 926 Greason Road, which was one of the oldest trees in Carlisle. It was one of many trees felled in Thursday’s storm.

After silently bearing witness to the birth of a nation, civil war and the dawn of the information age, one of Cumberland County's oldest residents finally fell Thursday.

The Greason Oak, a centuries-old oak tree located off Greason Road in West Pennsboro Township, was one of many trees felled by Thursday's severe storms.

While most trees were being fed into the wood chipper Friday morning, pieces of the Greason Oak were being carried off as mementos.

"People have come down here, cutting limbs off of it, cutting pieces off of it," said Brad Barrick, who rents the property at 299 Greason Road, where the tree stood until Thursday.

History

"I can remember coming down here when we were kids, coming down here to look at this tree," Barrick said.

In a 1994 article in The Sentinel, a tree expert was said to have estimated the tree's age at more than 300 years.

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The article, which centers around Plainfield Elementary School's efforts to prolong the tree's life, also noted that the tree was slowly dying.

Because the tree, in modern times, has been surrounded by road surface on two sides, sources for the 1994 article said it was dying of starvation and the effects of its root system absorbing road materials, such as rock salt.

"I can't believe it stayed up this long," Barrick said.

Stefanie Sweger, who lives near 299 Greason Road, said she only recently gave away a 1925 article from The Gettysburg Times about the tree.

"At that time, they thought the tree was 250 years old," she said.

Sources for the 1994 article in The Sentinel also said the tree's original owner was said to have admired the tree so much that, when he sold the land on which it sits to the Cumberland Valley Railroad, a condition of the agreement was the company care for the tree, which it did until removing its railroad tracks from the area.

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