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Lincoln History Told Through Tree Rings

In 1992, the Lincoln Vault Oak was cut down to protect Abraham Lincoln’s burial vault.

At the president’s funeral in 1865, the tree stood just a few feet from the event, shading the funeral choir.

When the tree was finally cut down, local arborist Guy Sternberg salvaged the massive stump and began a dissection project that peeled back the layers of history to reveal clues about that day.

Sternberg speaks with Here & Now’s Peter O’Dowd about what he was able to learn.

 

[Youtube]

Guest

  • Guy Sternberg, arborist and owner of Starhill Forest Arboretum in Petersburg, Illinois.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Arborist Guy Sternberg stands beside one of the youngest descendants, transplanted from an acorn that had germinated by Lincoln’s tomb in 1992. That’s the year the older tree was cut down. (Peter O'Dowd)
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Arborist Guy Sternberg stands beside one of the youngest descendants, transplanted from an acorn that had germinated by Lincoln’s tomb in 1992. That’s the year the older tree was cut down. (Peter O'Dowd)