Wisconsin Geospatial News

The Dane County Heritage Oak Project


The Dane County Heritage Oak Project was launched in 1976 to coincide with the US Bicentennial. At that time, conservationist Walter Scott identified 443 oaks over 200 years of age within an 8-mile radius of the Capitol. In 2001, arborist Bruce Allison found that half of these oaks remained while the other half had died, been cut down, or could not be located.

Today, the Tree Board, the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission (CARPC) and the University of Wisconsin State Cartographer’s Office are continuing Scott and Allison’s work by collaborating on a third round of inventorying what remains of the original list of oaks. They are now 250 years or older!



  1. If you own property in Dane County, you may have a Heritage Oak that is already on Scott’s original list. If so, you can help us update the information we have for it.
  2. You may know about a Heritage Oak in Dane County that is not in our inventory. If so, you can help us add it to the inventory.
  3. Spread the word! Tell your friends and neighbors about our project.
  4. Protect your oaks! Not only do these oaks provide environmental and economic benefits to the communities we live in, but they are also living, historical artifacts!


Visit us at www.sco.wisc.edu/oaks where you can learn more about the project, visit our Interactive Heritage Oak Map, and find out the specifics of how YOU can contribute to the project.


Email us at oaks@sco.wisc.edu if you have questions or comments.