TexasEscapes.com HOME Welcome to Texas Escapes
A magazine written by Texas
Custom Search
New   |   Texas Towns   |   Ghost Towns   |   Counties   |   Trips   |   Features   |   Columns   |   Architecture   |   Images   |   Archives   |   Site Map


Texas Historic Trees

Travis County TX
Travis County


Texas Towns
A - Z
Austin Hotels

The Treaty Oak in Austin

Baylor Avenue between 5th and 6th Street
(One block West of Lamar)
Austin, Texas

by Raoul Hashimoto

Book Hotel Here › Austin Hotels
According to legend, this live oak stood as a witness to a treaty between Indians and the Anglo settlers. The man representing the settlers was reputed to be none other than the "Father of Texas" Stephen F. Austin himself. There has been no hard evidence that any such treaty took place - but it makes a good story - and it may have helped save the tree.

The tree had been one of many that were collectively known as "The Council Oaks". A imaginary line then ran through the cluster was supposed to be a boundary-line between Indians and settlers.

In 1927 it was proclaimed to be "The most perfect specimen of a North American tree" and was inducted into the American Forestry Association's Hall of Fame in Washington-on-the-Potomac.
Austin Treaty Oak
The Treaty Oak as it appeared in January 2002
Photo by John Troesser
In 1937 it was nearly cut down by the owner. When he was told it was "the most perfect specimen of a North American tree" he was impressed. He started back to cutting it down - but with an appropriate display of reverence. They tried to reason with him and they appealed to his civic pride, but in the end, it was cash money that saved the day. The tree became city property.

A stately marker was installed and the tree just grew there on Baylor Street minding its own business and providing housing for generations of birds until sometime in the 1980s when a drum of powerful herbicide was poured at its base. The person responsible was apprehended and served hard time. The tree's future looked bleak at best.

The ground was treated, neutralized, and some was replaced. The tree was fed and injected and half of the crown was removed. It shed most of its leaves while it was in shock and it wasn't known for many months if it was going to send out new growth.
Treaty Oak marker
The Treaty Oak Marker
Photo by John Troesser, Jan. 2002
The experts performed nothing short of a miracle in restoring the tree to health.

Following a tradition of utilizing historic wood, the limbs were cut into gavels and souvenir discs.

The tree lost the shape that once made it a perfect specimen - but it's still here. It would be nice if another marker was placed near the tree to tell of the enormous efforts that saved it from near-certain death.

Even without proof of a treaty - the Treaty Oak has been admitted into the Texas Live Oak Society.


John Troesser

January 2002

See Austin, Texas

More Texas Historic Trees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Texas Escapes Online Magazine »   Archive Issues » Home »
TEXAS TOWNS & COUNTIES TEXAS LANDMARKS & IMAGES TEXAS HISTORY & CULTURE TEXAS OUTDOORS MORE
Texas Counties
Texas Towns A-Z
Texas Ghost Towns

TEXAS REGIONS:
Central Texas North
Central Texas South
Texas Gulf Coast
Texas Panhandle
Texas Hill Country
East Texas
South Texas
West Texas

Courthouses
Jails
Churches
Schoolhouses
Bridges
Theaters
Depots
Rooms with a Past
Monuments
Statues

Gas Stations
Post Offices
Museums
Water Towers
Grain Elevators
Cotton Gins
Lodges
Stores
Banks

Vintage Photos
Historic Trees
Cemeteries
Old Neon
Ghost Signs
Signs
Murals
Gargoyles
Pitted Dates
Cornerstones
Then & Now

Columns: History/Opinion
Texas History
Small Town Sagas
Black History
WWII
Texas Centennial
Ghosts
People
Animals
Food
Music
Art

Books
Cotton
Texas Railroads

Texas Trips
Texas Drives
Texas State Parks
Texas Rivers
Texas Lakes
Texas Forts
Texas Trails
Texas Maps
USA
MEXICO
HOTELS

Site Map
About Us
Privacy Statement
Disclaimer
Contributors
Staff
Contact Us

 
Website Content Copyright Texas Escapes LLC. All Rights Reserved