"George and Martha" Sugar Maples - Sharon, MA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NorStar
N 42° 07.255 W 071° 12.701
19T E 317176 N 4665568
Staff of Moose Hill Audubon Sanctuary estimate that these two trees, probably planted by the farmer to produce maple syrup, were likely around when George and Martha Washington were alive.
Waymark Code: WMBZX6
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 07/09/2011
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member GT.US
Views: 3

In Sharon, in beautiful Moose Hill Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary, are a pair of large sugar maple trees that are affectionately known as "George and Martha."

Moose Hill Mass. Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary is a story in itself. It is the oldest sanctuary in the Massachusetts Audbon network of conservation properties, and with over 2,200 acres, it is one of the largest. About 100 years ago, the Billings family donated the family farm to the sanctuary, which is the core of the sanctuary property. Today, there are hints of the old farm. There is a long wide, dirt path from the intersection of Moose Hill Parkway and Moose Hill Street that was the old driveway. The driveway ends at a grassy area and a depression that marks the old family house. There are two barns - one of which - the bat barn - is entirely modern. The other might date back to the farm, but probably not back to the age of the trees.

To get to the trees, from U.S. 1 go on MA 27 south, driving on a bridge over I-95 to the next road, Moose Hill Street, a couple hundred feet down on the right (there is a small sign for the sanctuary at the corner - it has a triangular logo). Follow the windy road through woods, power lines, and pasture to the intersection with Moose Hill Parkway. Take a left onto Moose Hill Parkway and go a short distance to the visitor parking lot on the left. From there, visit the visitor center (the fee is currently $4 for non-members of Massachusetts Audubon, free for members - sorry National Audubon membership is not recognized). From the visitor center, go back to the intersection and enter at the gap in the stone wall. The dirt road is flat until you get to a T intersection, where you take a left up a gentle grade to the barns. The trees are only 80 ft from there at the base of a shallow dip in the driveway.

George and Martha are distinctive trees, even among the other trees in the woods and pasture around. They are about 10 feet apart and their roots are intertwined - so they are as much one tree as two. I believe a core sample was taken from one of the trees and the age was estimated to be about 225 years, which is about the age of the country, and, thus, would have been alive when General and President George Washington and his wife, Martha, would have been around. I have been told that "George" is the one closer to the barns, It is slightly taller than "Martha."

If you look closely, you will see several round filled in holes all around the trunks. These holes are left over sap taps. Holes are drilled into the trunk to gather the sap that will be boiled down to make the sweet maple syrup. There is a program in March that demonstrates this truely New England tradition (for a modest fee).

There is debate whether this is a sugar maple (Acer Saccharum) or a close species/variety known as the black maple (Acer Nigrum). The species are very closely related and are difficult to separate out. The black maple has a slightly less shallow lobed leaf that lobes that dip more and has more hairs. After looking myself, the leaf is not an ideal shape for either tree, so I take it to be the sugar maple since this is the more common species.

Come take a stroll!
Genus/Species: Sugar (or Black) Maple

Height: 80

Girth: 13

Method of obtaining height: Clinometer

Method of obtaining girth: Tape

Location type: Other public property

Age: 225

Historical significance:
Just an old farm tree.

Planter: Probably a farmer of the Billings Family

Walk time: 7

Website reference: Not listed

Parking coordinates: Not Listed

Photograpy coordinates: Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
A closeup picture of your GPS receiver in your hand, with the tree in the background, is required. If the tree is on private property, this closeup photograph with the tree in the background may be taken from the nearest public vantage point without actually going to the tree.
The required photograph does not need to show the entire tree, but the individual tree must be recognizable.
Search for...
Geocaching.com Google Map
Google Maps
Bing Maps
Nearest Waymarks
Nearest Exceptional Trees
Nearest Geocaches
Create a scavenger hunt using this waymark as the center point
Recent Visits/Logs:
There are no logs for this waymark yet.