In our North Florida explorations, one goal of mine was to visit the Cellon Oak, Florida’s largest live oak (in terms of crown spread) and the current cover photo of Big Trees: The Florida Register, where it’s shown with 20 people holding hands at arm’s length trying to approximate the crown spread.
To step right up to it: wow. It’s its own world. You can see it through satellite photos from Google Earth, it’s so darn big. A crowd spread of 160 feet, according to the 1997 book; the plaque in front of the tree claims a height of 79 feet and circumference of 28.7 feet, but those figures date back 20 years. Steel cables serve as lightening arrestors and are strung through the tree like vines. Limbs bigger than many of Florida’s big trees have been sawed off, presumably to arrest stages of rot. It’s an amazing sight.
Location: La Crosse
Fees / Permits: none
Bug factor: insignificant
To visit the Cellon Oak, follow SR 121 north from Gainesville toward La Crosse. A small brown sign points the way (left turn) down NW 169th PL to the park, which is open dawn to dusk.