The Piestewa Tree

Material Intelligence, issue 1: Oak

Position: Contributing Editor

Article: “The Piestewa Tree”

“I am visiting The Piestewa Tree.

In Solebury Township, Pennsylvania, the tree stands circled by the remnants of its parent’s trunk, living on as the child of a local celebrity, the “Columbus Oak ”. By the time that this oak died at 516 years old, it served as an emblem of the township, spotlighted in local history and even in special edition multi-colored license plates. Now, the Piestewa Tree is thriving in its place. Hopefully this memorial may similarly become an honored witness to the next five hundred years.

Oak trees accomplish many roles in their lifetimes, notably contributing to and nurturing the flora and fauna all around them. And in their afterlife, when cut down, this remarkable wood is used by woodworkers, basketmakers, tanners, boatbuilders, and many other craftspeople. But the oak tree has long had another vital role in many cultures: as a symbol, an emblem, a marker, or even a monument for a community and a country. Think of the…”