So there is this tree that I grew up driving past all the time my entire childhood which, as far as I knew, was just a huge tree. Nothing of serious importance. But I always wondered why a tree all by itself was sitting along a stretch of road no other trees were on. The older I got I started to realize that this tree was protected, as it's the largest and oldest Bebb Oak Tree in America.  Jerry Lee, a forester for the city of Rochester Hills, once told, that the tree itself must be somewhere around 250 years old.

Think about that for a minute. This tree began to sprout right around the time that the Revolutionary War was just picking up. That's insane. Lee estimated this using the only real knowledge of the tree we can know for certain:

I would say 200 years, at least — probably 250. With a tree that big, it's hard to tell without damaging the tree. It's measured by a formula involving its height, trunk circumference and crown spread. But it was probably here when the first settlers came to our area. It's survived all of these years. It's a strong tree.

Google Street View
Google Street View

Unfortunately, the tree isn't on any known national registries because they don't recognize hybrid trees, which is how the Bebb Oak is classified. Sadly, trees don't come with birth certificates so we'll never truly know the exact age of the tree, but we can still appreciate that it's still standing and staying alive.

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