City Mourns Loss Of Locally Famous 400-Year-Old Tree

(Public/YouTube/Screenshot/City of Plano, Texas)

John Oyewale Contributor
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A rainstorm felled North Texas’ oldest and largest tree last Wednesday, plunging conservationists and enthusiasts into mourning, according to a video posted to the City of Plano’s YouTube account.

The historic Quadri/Quincentennial Bur Oak, located in Bob Woodruff Park in Plano, succumbed to flooding caused by the storm following years of attempted rehabilitation, the City of Plano’s government announced in the video. The 90-foot tree was over 400 years old, possibly 500 years old, according to the Texas Historic Tree Coalition.

“It was here when the U.S. Constitution was signed in 1787,” the city’s video statement noted.

“With the pre-existing conditions of the tree having the crack that we worked on a few years ago and some of the rot that was in the tree, that amount of rain forced the tree to fall down,” Mark Beaudoing, the City of Plano’s urban forester, said, per the video.

City officials had tried to save the tree using various measures such as vertical mulching, fertilization, selective pruning, and even driving four bolts into it to hold it together, The Weather Channel reported.

Steve Houser of the City of Plano‘s Arborilogical Services described the tree as “an old friend to me,” per the city’s video. “If this tree could talk and tell you stories at that age, it saw Indians gathered underneath it and traveling throughout the area … It would have a lot of stories that it could pass along to us,” he added. (RELATED: Biden Forest Service Hands Out Over $100 Million To Advance ‘Tree Equity’)

“When we climb out on the ends … and the wind’s kind of rocking you back and forth, it’s like this ancient old lady is kind of rocking you back and forth in her hand and her arms,” Houser added. “It’s a tremendous loss for the field of arboriculture.”

“I’m kind of in mourning,” he told WFAA.

“We feel like we did everything we could. And you know it’s always sad when you feel like you did your best and it wasn’t enough,” Beaudoing told WFAA.