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Fallen white oak near Orrick was hundreds of years old

A white oak tree estimated to be 300 years old toppled during high winds last weekend on a farm near Orrick. The tree had stood sentinel near the home of Dianna and Gary Battagler, pictured.
“I thought it was kind of the centerpiece of the property,” said Gary Battagler. “We’re going to miss it.”

By Leah Wankum, Editor

High winds knocked down a tall bit of history last weekend in rural Orrick.

The white oak tree that stood sentinel for hundreds of years on the property of Gary and Dianna Battagler is no more. A strong front that came through Ray County between 1 and 2 a.m. Sunday caused some property damage and, in the case of the Battaglers, knocked over the entire tree.

“I was still up when my tablet went off, and it wasn’t long (before) it started getting windy out here,” said Gary Battagler. “All of a sudden, I heard this boom – it kind of sounded like thunder.”

Gary Battagler said the sound of the falling tree practically shook the whole house, but that wasn’t enough to wake his wife, Dianna.

“I was in bed asleep, slept through the whole thing,” said Dianna Battagler.

The Battaglers said that before they bought the property 25 years ago, the land used to have a few other large white oak trees, but they’ve been cut down to make room for agriculture. They had kept the one oak, of course, and estimated it to be 200 years old.

The complete story is in the Friday, May 5, 2017 Richmond News.

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