FLASHBACK: Liberty Tree in Northeast Pushing 250

Yesterday, FlatlandKC published a story titled Big Tree “A Living Monument” in Old Northeast, about a Burr Oak located on Monroe Avenue. In the story, they referenced a Northeast News article that we had published in 2002, and was available in the KC Library archives. Our digital archives go back about twelve years, but we were able to access this story in print, and we have re-produced it for those who have been asking us about it. Some readers may also remember another tree that Northeast News chronicled in 2014.

Mike’s Tree Care was called out to handle the giant Burr Oak on Monroe, after the Edwards could no longer find any trimmers willing to climb the tree.

 

Northeast News
Originally Published October 2, 2002

There is a tree in Historic Northeast that sprouted from an acorn long before George Kessler was planning the city’s boulevards. In fact, the giant Burr Oak living in the back yard of Harold and Phyllis Edwards’ home was alive and well when Missouri became a state in 1821. It was there even before the United States was declared a country 226 years ago, a distinction that earned it recognition as a Liberty Tree during the 1976 bicentennial. Last week, a fall trimming of it’s dead branches brought neighbors out to chat for a while over the noise of a chainsaw. One neighbor, Gary Stuart, even took a souvenir branch home.

 

“My daddy used to say we wished this tree could talk,” said Phyllis Edwards. “This of the stories it could tell.” From Native Americans to French fur traders to settlers, it is impossible to know but intriguing to ponder how many people may have encounter the tree with it was still a part of a forest. When Monroe Avenue was developed, the tree was spared by the bulldozers, perhaps because it had already grown so large.

 

The tree also has the distinction of having been a runner up for Champion Tree status. The largest Burr Oak tree in Missouri lives in the Ozarks and stands 84 feet tall, on a trunk that’s 2772 inches four and a half feet from the ground. Champion trees are judged on a point system that combines the height, trunk size and crown spread (width of farthest branches). The Edwards have not measured their tree in some time, but think it might be worth submitting their Liberty Tree for another round of competition.

Phyllis and Harold Edwards, who celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary Sunday, are proud of the 250 year old tree that crowns their Historic Northeast yard.

Phyllis lived at 328 S. Monroe Ave when she was 13 years old; her father brought the duplex for his plumbing business in 1955. “He used to say he bought the tree and got the house,” said Harold Edwards. The Edwards moved back to the duplex about 15 years ago to take care of aging parents, and Phyllis and Harold continue to value their natural asset. They arrange to get the tree trimmed up every few years. “We don’t want the dead wood to fall on anyone,” Phyllis said.

 

While the exact age of the special tree will not be known as long as it stands, the Edwards are sure of at least one anniversary – their own. The couple celebrates their 40th wedding anniversary on Sunday.

 

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • New Interim KCPS Superintendent for the 2022-2023 school year

    August 17th, 2022
    by

    Aniaya Reed Editorial Assistant Dr. Jennifer Collier is the new Interim Superintendent for the 2022-2023 school year at KCPS (Kansas […]


    COMBAT funding for the 2023 year

    August 17th, 2022
    by

    Aniaya Reed Editorial Assistant COMBAT (Community Backed Anti Crime Tax) is now accepting applications for 2023 funding in four separate […]


    Elmwood Cemetery to hold 150 year anniversary celebration

    August 17th, 2022
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor Elmwood Cemetery, Kansas City’s second oldest memorial park, is celebrating its 150th year with a special […]


    New weathervane slated for museum carriage house

    August 16th, 2022
    by

    After over 100 years, a weathervane will once again grace the cupola of the Kansas City Museum’s storied carriage house […]


    Building partially collapses in Avenue business parking lot

    August 15th, 2022
    by

    Building partially collapses in Avenue business parking lot The abandoned apartment building at 3211 Independence Avenue continues to be a […]


    One dead in double shooting at Indep/Maple Blvds

    August 13th, 2022
    by

    Kansas City, Mo., police are reporting a double shooting that left one person dead at the BP at Independence and […]


    KCPS Hosts Summerfest Event

    August 12th, 2022
    by

    For the second year, Kansas City Public Schools and the KCPS Education Foundation are partnering with area public health providers […]


    An Artistic Day at 12th & Benton

    August 11th, 2022
    by

    It was all hands on deck today at the 12th & Benton intersection traffic calming project. Artists, students and project […]


  • KC “movie cars” on display in Branson

    August 10th, 2022
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Who ya gonna call, when you need to go back in time? Joe Pace, that’s who. Pace, […]


    Missouri Bicentennial Quilt takes its last stop at the SHSMO Kansas City Research Center

    August 10th, 2022
    by

    EllieAna Hale Editorial Assistant The Missouri Bicentennial Quilt has been a part of Kansas City’s deep history and celebrates KC […]


    Some voters confused by changes to polling locations, district boundaries

    August 10th, 2022
    by

    Bryan Stalder Contributor Tuesday, August 2 was the Missouri Primary Election. Voters were asked to select a ballot for the […]


    New Ambassador Wellness Program aims to inform Kansas City about health

    August 10th, 2022
    by

    Aniaya Reed Editorial Assistant This past June, the Kansas City Health Department started the Ambassador Wellness Program to assist residents […]


    Show Me KC Schools, Samuel U. Rodgers Host Second Bounce Back to School Event

    August 6th, 2022
    by

    Back for its second year, Show Me KC Schools and Samuel U. Rodgers will host the Bounce Back to School […]


    Kansas City’s Most Wanted

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    KC Crime Stoppers has partnered with The Kansas City’s Northeast News to help track local KC individuals on the Kansas […]


    LEC advocates for more Latinx educators

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    By Aniaya Reed Edgar Palacios, President/CEO founded LEC (Latinx Education Collaborative) in 2018. His goal for his non-profit organization is […]


    Knowledge is Power Program moves forward

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    By Aniaya Reed KIPP: Endeavor Academy, a tuition-free, open-enrollment public school, opened its doors in Kansas City in 2007 as […]


    Janet Raymer named 2021-2022 Frontier School District Teacher of the Year

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    By EllieAna Hale This 2021-2022 Frontier School District Teacher of the Year award was granted to Janet Raymer, a seventh-grade […]


    Frontier receives $250,000 Kauffman grant

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    By Aniaya Reed The Frontier School of Innovation, through the New Frontier Educational Foundation, will benefit from the Kauffman Foundation’s […]


    Gordon Parks Elementary School strives to elevate student success

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    By EllieAna Hale Being one of the first charter schools in the Kansas City, Mo., area, Gordon Parks Elementary School […]


    Headstart Home-Based open opportunities for all parents

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    By EllieAna Hale The Family Conservancy (TFC) has continually created sustainable education, and resource programs to provide equitable opportunities for […]


  • Northeast Newscast


  • Faces Of Northeast


  • Remember This?

    Remember This?

    August 17th, 2022
    by

  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.