Lehigh's oldest tree? The Christmas-Saucon oak
This white oak (Quercus alba), located at the west end of what is now called Christmas-Saucon Hall, is estimated to be around 300-years-old. Its age is apparent when viewing the enormous base of the trunk, which is at least nine feet in diameter. Note in the photos how close it sits to the building.
In 1865, the original Christmas Hall was purchased from the Moravian Diocese and outfitted to hold classes. It was one of the first campus buildings, pre-dating Packer Hall. A new building, Saucon Hall, was erected next to Christmas Hall in 1872/3. In the academic year 1926-27 Christmas Hall was joined with the nearby Saucon Hall, and the building was renamed Christmas-Saucon Hall.
Looking at early photos, it appears the oak tree was well-established at the time the university was founded. In the historic photos shown here, the oak tree is partially visible on the left side of the photos (west end of the building), with its branches emerging over the roofline.