Highland Park, New Jersey Environmental Commission Highland Park Plantspiece of green plant

Kilmer Oak Tree

Kilmer Oak Tree Young now, this white oak may finally grow to the size of its massive ancestor on the Rutgers campus. The white oak, Quercus alba, is among the most majestic trees native to North America, found naturally throughout the East.

Joyce Kilmer's home in New Brunswick still stands, but the hotel in Highland Park where he is said to have spent much of his leisure time does not. That hotel once stood in the triangle between today's Raritan Avenue and Woodbridge Avenue and seems to have been among the gathering places for young people of his day. As this location places the hotel (and Kilmer) only about a three-minute walk from the Highland Park High School, the planting site seems well chosen.

Kilmer Oak Tree plaque

"TREES"

 
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
 
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;
 
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
 
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
 
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
 
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
 
By Joyce Kilmer.

  Photos: Arnold Henderson

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