Species: Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)
Location: Tampa, Florida
Spread: N/S: 126’ E/W: 111’
The City of Tampa’s Planning and Urban Design Division is nominating the “Knight Oak” located on property located at 1203 E. 22nd Avenue in Tampa Florida. The tree is located on a site that has earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places known as The Home Association. The property was dedicated in 1924 to The Home Association by Peter O. Knight. The tree named in honor of the Knight family, measures 75 inches in diameter and is possibly one of the oldest living trees in Tampa, Florida. This magnificent tree is a live oak (Quercus virginiana) and has characteristics that are true to form, with branches that touch the ground and an average canopy that sprawls up to 59 ft from trunk to edge of canopy.
The site includes Sarah Knight Park, named for Knight’s mother, and features a grove of oak trees which includes the Knight Oak. Peter O. Knight is a historical figure who served in the military and became one of the great leaders of Tampa. It is fitting that we honor his namesake for nominating this magnificent oak.
This tree deserves to be nominated because of this historical significance and relevance to the spirit of the Great American Tree. Despite being in a thriving and bustling urban landscape, this veteran tree has survived among a grove of live oaks, in an urbanizing neighborhood.
This historic site was formerly called the “Old People’s Home Association” when the facility was founded in 1899, when three elderly Jacksonville women traveling in Tampa were stranded and quarantined during a yellow fever scare. Later, it was called “The Old Ladies’ Home” for its mission to care for elderly women. To attract needed funding, it included men in its mission and became the Old People’s Home Association. The Knight Oak has been estimated to have been a specimen before the origin of this facility.