Durmast oak (Quercus petraea)
Northwest of Campus Services parking lot
The species of this particular large oak tree has been a vexing problem for some time; the unofficial WWU tree committee (Wesselink, Godfrey, Beck) after extensive deliberation has voted unanimously for Quercus petraea. The problem is that species is exceedingly rare in North America, unlike its near relative the English oak, which this definitely is not. The presence of this specimen near campus thus poses a problem: how did it get here? The probable answer is that, long ago, it was a front-yard shade tree for the home of a true tree-lover, located at what is now the corner of S. Campus Drive and Bill McDonald Parkway.
The Durmast oak is the national tree of Wales is well adapted to life on stony uplands (hence its species name). After many centuries the Durmast oak may reach a height of 100 ft. or more, with a trunk diameter of 10 ft. It yields valuable lumber, formerly for the manufacture of ships, and now for wine and brandy kegs.
See Quercus petraea on Wikipedia.