COMMUNITY VOICE: Likely Perth Amboy’s Oldest Inhabitant – Our Historic Elm

Historic Oak in Basking Ridge Early 1900’s *Photo Courtesy of Barbara Booz

I write this in high hopes that our city is taking all possible measures to save the historic elm tree that has stood on watch over City Hall for so many years. Over the past few weeks, I have not spoken to one person who was not in favor of taking aggressive steps to “Save the Historic Elm”!

My conversations about Perth Amboy’s Elm have often turned to another historic NJ tree – Basking Ridge’s Oak. In living memory, that tree has been known as Basking Ridge’s “Revered Oak.” But that was not always the case. One hundred years ago, although the Basking Ridge Oak was loved by many, its care was neglected and the ancient tree had become diseased. By the 1920’s some thought the sick tree should come down. But a wise group who appreciated the tree’s importance took all possible action to save it. Please see the attached article which recounts the Basking Ridge Oak’s history. I think that it holds some lessons for us. And it certainly should provide inspiration to preserve Perth Amboy’s Elm.

Barbara Booz provided me with a vintage postcard of the Basking Ridge Oak (also see attached). This postcard dates from around the time that aggressive actions were first being taken to save what was a “sick” old oak tree. Now, nearly one hundred years later, after decades of loving care, the Basking Ridge Oak still lives on!

In hopes that Perth Amboy’s Historic Elm will also stand for many more years to come,

Regards,

Mary Ellen Pavolvsky

Perth Amboy

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