Even before there was a Basking Ridge, NJ, there was the oak tree. George Washington picnicked in its shade. Gen. Jean Baptist de Rochambeau and allied French troops marched past it on the way to the Battle of Yorktown, Va. Thirty five Revolutionary War veterans are buried beneath its branches… "We had great hopes," Pastor Dennis Jones told the Post. "All eyes were on the tree to see how it would green." When it didn’t last month, when even more of its upper branches stayed bare, other experts were consulted. They tested the soil, probed the tree’s roots, checked for beetles and disease. Jason Grabosky, an ecologist at Rutgers University, inspected the tree in mid-June and declared it to be "in a spiral of decline."
/ / / N.J. white oak – one of the oldest in the county – reportedly may be dying