This Natural Wonder is the Oldest Tree in Texas – and Still Growing
Okay, for the record, I am a tree nut. I enjoy them and I plant them. I have gone as far as cutting a branch off an old tree at my grandpa's farm north of Abilene and brought it to my home (far southwest Abilene) and planted it. My "Paper Shell" pecan tree continues to grow today.
So when I was on a conference call with one of our corporate guys, and he started talking about the oldest tree in his state, I began wondering which tree in Texas might be the oldest. Could it possibly be one of Grandpa's old pecan or oak trees? I asked family members and discovered Grandpa had planted his trees in the early 1920s.
After a little research I discovered that the oldest tree in Texas may very well be one of the oldest trees in the entirety of North America. The Quercus virginiana oak tree near Rockport, Texas, or "Big Tree" as it's called, is officially the oldest tree in Texas and has been growing for at least 1,000 years. Scientists are doing genetic tracing on the tree every year, and some estimate the tree could possibly be over 2,000 years old.
Legend has it that the Goose Island Oak was once a place where the cannibalistic Karankawas held councils and pagan ceremonies in which they devoured their enemies and even members of their own tribe. It is also referred to as a hanging tree and as a rendezvous of the fierce Comanche Indians. Source: Texas A&M Forest Service
I firmly believe this tree is between 1,000 and 2,000 years old simply because its height is now over 45 feet tall and its circumference is over 45 feet around. Located in Goose Island State Park, many visitors make "Big Tree" a vacation destination.
To see more on Big Tree at Goose Island State Park, check out "The Phil We Know" video below.