A Pow Wow Tree No Longer Grows in Lowell

June 02, 2013

The historic Pow-Wow Oak, in Lowell, Massachusetts, has been removed. Depite the efforts by local Native Americans and the Pow-Wow Oak Protectors group, the tree was taken down May 22.

The tree was deemed a safety hazard by Lowell officials after a massive branch of the centuries old oak split off and collapsed onto power line wires. Subsequent examination determined that there was extensive interior decay, comprising the health of the tree, and making it a hazard for the safety of those who might pass by it.

The tree was more than 300 years old, said to have been standing as early as 1700. The Wamesit Indians gathered around the tree to hold their pow wows, giving rise to the oak's name.

The plaque, built by Adrian Luz of Luz Granite, that sits at where the Pow-Wow Oak in Lowell stood. (Lowell Sun/Bob Whitaker)

The Pow-Wow Oak Protectors group has preserverd some parts of the tree and are hoping to reproduce it asexually. It's also possible that life will spring anew from the remaining stump and root system. Suggestions for how to use the recovered wood from the cut-down tree include tables, chessboards, a totem pole and a drum, suggested by local Native Americans.

The protectors group is unhappy with how quickly the city acted, saying that the rot was not so extensive and that efforts to improve the health of the mighty oak should have been attempted.

“We’re all just in shock that they took it all down,” George Koumantzelis, founder of the Pow Wow Oak Protectors, told the Tewksbury Town Crier.

A fall view of the Pow-Wow Oak tree (True Age Media/




audiri's picture
Submitted by audiri on

To the Pow Wow Oak Protectors
I absolutely understand that you must have been shocked by the way the tree and your tradition have been treated. This was without any respect. 300 hundred years is no age for an oak tree but a long time for mankind. And there are quite a few options to heal and support a tree. Trees which have been or are places for meetings have something special with them which gets lost when they die/put to death. I read that there is some hope that the tree will raise again from the roots. I, too, hope for it to happen. This could be a strong sign.

Beth Carter's picture
Beth Carter
Submitted by Beth Carter on

This is sad, without doubt, but I would say to you with fire in my eyes, "Plant another."

Lorraine Hester's picture
Lorraine Hester
Submitted by Lorraine Hester on

That a sad day Tree is older than Most generations of people. Tree could of Should of been saved . People lie to get what they want

Farley Horsechief's picture
Farley Horsechief
Submitted by Farley Horsechief on

Familiarity breeds contempt,the word Honor is misplaced and is meaningless one is seeing this behavior more so today than yesterday.

withbravewingsifly's picture
Submitted by withbravewingsifly on

how terrible !!!! that tree was a historical landmark!!! trim it,fine!but there was not a need to remove it!!! that tree alone,represented so much!! and ignorance,you just wouldn't listen!!! !yeah right a danger ..good excuse!!!
how dare you insult and dis respect my people!!!

tree was there since 1700!does history not mean anything to you! your from lowell,there isa lot of history there.look at it this way ,native americans were here first! you had no right to remove it!


Around The Web

U.S. woman held in Mexico on drug smuggling charge freed
Philip Seymour Hoffman Leaves Detox Center For Heroin Abuse
Thousands ordered to flee massive blaze outside L.A.