Sapling of Historic Anderson Oak Returns to Glen Iris Lawn at Letchworth State Park


A sprouted acorn officially returns to Letchworth State Park ahead of Arbor Day to carry forward the legacy of its celebrity parent, the fallen Anderson Oak.

On the lawn of the Glen Iris Inn, the historic home of William Pryor Letchworth, this new tree will grow just a few yards from where its parent once stood, the proud white oak planted by Martin Brewer Anderson, the first president of the University of Rochester and a friend of William Pryor Letchworth’s through the New York State Board of Charities.

Anderson planted the tree as a gift to Letchworth in 1877. Over the next approximately 140 years, the tree grew to about 100 feet tall.

In late July 2018, a windstorm knocked off the old tree’s crown and several limbs, revealing a partially hollow trunk. The tree’s fate was sealed.

After the tree was removed, longtime Park volunteer Ken Wallace mentioned that long ago, tree-loving Park employee Gary Lamitina gave him a single sprouting acorn from the Anderson Oak, and that it had grown to about 20 feet tall. Wallace offered to donate the tree back to the Park to replace its parent on the Glen Iris lawn.

Park maintenance crews carefully transplanted the tree in a patient process over several hours.

The Park has watched the tree’s progress. On Arbor Day 2021, we formally welcome the tree to the Glen Iris lawn near Letchworth’s impressive memorial tree collection.

For further information, call (585)493-3600 or write to Letchworth State Park, One Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY 14427.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which are visited by 71 million people annually. A recent study found that New York State Parks generates $5 billion in park and visitor spending, which supports nearly 54,000 jobs and over $2.8 billion in additional state GDP. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit, connect with us on Facebook, or follow on Instagram and Twitter.

1 Comment

  • Victoria Franklin says:

    My grandparents, Alvah & Millicent Davis, ran the Glen Iris Inn & Letchworth Park concessions when my parents, Margharita “Pat” Davis & John “Jack” Franklin married under the big oak September 1949. My mom died in 1992. She had told me the tree was hit by lightning. I had understood it was no longer there. Was there more than 1 giant oak next to the Glen Iris Inn?

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