SALEM, New Jersey -- A nearly 600-year-old Salem oak tree that toppled earlier this summer will live on forever across the entire state of New Jersey.
New Jersey officials announced on Tuesday that seedlings from the historic tree will be given to each of the state's 565 municipalities.
"Today, I'm so excited to tell you that in celebration of New Jersey DEP 50th birthday and the 50th anniversary of America's first Earth Day, we will be giving the gift of a Salem oak seedling to each of New Jersey's 565 municipalities," said Catherine McCabe, acting commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
For nearly 600 years, the tree provided shade and comfort in what is now the Salem Religious Society of Friends burial ground. It came crashing down on June 6, 2019. It's unclear what caused the tree to fall.
"In 50 years, these trees will have removed over two million pounds of carbon dioxide from our air," McCabee said. "They will conserve over 143 years' worth of households electricity, and they will reduce the damaging effects of over 27 million gallons of stormwater and so much more."
More details on the seedlings will be shared in the coming weeks.