The Cork Tree
McDonough was home of one of the state’s largest cork trees. It was grown in the front yard of the Colonial
residence of Judge Thomas Jefferson Brown. The tree was planted in 1843. During the Presidency of Polk he
had obtained 48 acorns of a cork tree from Spain and had them planted all across Georgia. Mr. Brown’s great
grandmother Mrs. Mary Callaway planted the tree.
The leaves of the tree look like those of a cherry tree. When the cork tree grows to 6 inches in width it is time for
it to be stripped. This process can take as long as 20 years according to the Forestry Service. Two of the trees
took root at the Callaway place. One of the trees died in 1944. But the other grew to a huge size in width and
height. The old tree tried to survive but it died in 1952 bringing an end to the historic old cork tree.
1. Mother of Counties, Mrs. Rainer, 1971.
2. Atlanta Constitution, Sept. 2, 1952.