The Jacksonville, Florida Treaty Oak is one of the oldest and most significant trees (Quercus virginiana) in United States history. The tree is estimated to be 250-300 years old and predates the finding of Jacksonville. The origin of the name “Treaty Oak” is related to a local story of a peace accord between Native Americans and early Spanish or American settlers.
The tree’s trunk is over 25 feet in circumference and its crown or canopy spreads over 145 feet ; however, the tree is only about 75 feet tall. Recently, the city of Jacksonville started to make seedlings from the Treaty Oak available for Jacksonville residence to plant all over their city.
Several oak trees were mentioned in the Bible. For example Abraham camped under an oak tree. Saul was given bread from a traveler under the Tabor oak. Finally, most of us have read about the mighty oaks of Bashan. In the Bible oak is often a symbol of longevity and stability. I think of the oak in this photograph as a symbol friendship.
In the photograph, the beautiful woman sitting below the Treaty Oak is Lisa McClendon-Brailsford. Lisa is a follower of God as a Gardener and sent the photograph to me.
The Treaty Oak is old and massive. It has historical significance. My budding friendship with Lisa is young, but important to me. In the Bible, God spoke about friendship:
- A friend loves at all times
- Wounds from a friend can be trusted
- Do not foresake your friendships
Reflection: Are you taking the time to value your friendships, whether young or old?
Copyright: December 30, 2015; Carolyn A. Roth