Stop Two: St. Joe’s Oak

Happy first day of fall everyone! Considering this is one of the most beautiful times of the year due to the progression of tree leaves through many vibrant colors, we decided to make a pit stop on our Journey Through the Bluegrass road trip at one of Kentucky’s most historic trees: St. Joe’s Oak.

St. Joe’s Oak has an undocumented and impressive history in the bluegrass. Today, the tree can be found inside the parking structure at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Lexington, KY, but it has presumably been here since before Lexington was even founded. When St. Joe’s was originally built, there was much talk of tearing down the amiable arbor, however, the contractors could just not bring themselves to obstruct such a beautiful and historic site. Now a monument in the center of the St. Joseph’s parking structure, this giant oak still stands proud for all to look upon. If you want to make a pit stop to gaze upon this beauty, you may find it at One Saint Joseph Drive, Lexington, KY 40504.

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A photograph of St. Joe’s Oak in front of the newly build St. Joseph’s Hospital.

If you want to learn more about St. Joe’s Oak and other venerable trees of the bluegrass, check out our recently published book, Venerable Trees: History, Biology, and Conversation in the Bluegrass by Tom Kimmerer. Featuring more than one hundred color photographs, this beautifully illustrated book offers guidelines for conserving ancient trees worldwide while educating readers about their life cycle. Venerable Trees is an informative call to understand the challenges faced by the companions so deeply rooted in the region’s heritage and a passionate plea for their preservation.

And, bonus! We are actually giving away a copy of this book in honor of it being the first day of autumn, so happy fall, y’all! If you want to sign up for our book giveaway, click here! The sign ups will be active until the end of the day on Sunday, September 27, so don’t miss out!

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