Help Save the Big Tree

Help Save the Big Tree

iJuly 21, 2017

Genesee Valley Conservancy is partnering with the Livingston County Historical Society to preserve the last remaining section of The Big Tree.

Oak trees are and have been an important part of the Genesee Valley region dating back to the Senecas who simply called the area “Big Tree”.  One particularly large oak tree measuring 26 feet 9 inches in circumference was the site of the Treaty of the Big Tree in 1797.   The only remaining section of the Big Tree is housed at the Livingston County Museum and is in dire need of preservation.

The Big Tree fell in 1857 and this wood has been deteriorating for 160-years.  The Big Tree is currently housed in an open out-building, subjecting the wood to insects and changing weather.  The Livingston County Historical Society plans to clean the tree, preserve it, relocate it inside the Museum, and add interpretation panels to explain its significance so this valuable piece of history will not be lost.

We are asking for your help to preserve the Big Tree which holds great political, cultural, ecological, and symbolic significance. 

The cost estimate for this project is $23,000.  The Conservancy has set a goal to raise $5k in support of this project; we’re committing $2,500 from a special reserve fund and hope to raise $2,500 from the community.

From August 1st - 31st, an anonymous donor will match donations, doubling your gift’s impact! 

Make a gift online now: please add a note "for the big tree" so we know where to send your gift.

Print this donation form and include it with a check to the Conservancy.

VIDEO: View the Big Tree with commentary from Livingston County Historical Society Museum Administrator Anna Kowalchuk as she explains the dire need for proper preservation work.


Painting: Artist Unknown, Courtesy of Livingston County Historical Society

Current out-building housing Big Tree, Courtesy of Livingston County Historical Society

Close up of insect holes and deterioration of wood, Courtesy of Livingston County Historical Society