Organizers of Evanston’s annual garden walk wanted to highlight something at least as old as the city in this year of the town’s 150th anniversary.

But unfortunately, none of the city’s gardens are nearly that old.

So they’ve come with the next best thing — a tree that may be four times as old as Evanston.

Garden Walk Chair Doug MacDonald says the ancient tree is a burr oak in the yard of the home of County Commissioner Larry Suffredin and his wife, Gloria Callaci.

City Arborist Mark Younger says judging from the 58-inch diameter of the trunk four feet off the ground, he believes that — using the generally accepted estimate that oaks gain an inch in diameter for every 10 to 12 years of age — that the tree is between 580 and 696 years old.

The 24th annual garden walk, sponsored by the Evanstion Environmental Association, will be held from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 30.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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