October 2017

Famous Oak Trees in Texas

Oak trees can live for hundreds of years, so it’s no wonder that there is a long history associated with these expansive trees.  Here are some of the most famous trees you and your family can visit in Texas.

Matrimonial Oak, San Saba County

This solid oak stands tall near an old country road.  Since the discovery of this oak, many proposals have been made underneath this shady tree, and many couples come back to get married!

The Cart War Oak, City of Goliad

Back around 1857, there were several violent incidents involving Texan and Mexican salesmen carting goods from the Gulf to San Antonio.  Texans thought that the Mexicans were undercutting them and offering their goods at a much lower price.  Hence, the Cart War broke out under the famously named tree.

The Goose Island Oak, Aransas County

This oak was once thought to be the largest live oak in the United States.  Approximately 1,100 years old, this incredible oak is located in Goose Island State Park near Rockport, Texas.

Treaty Oak, Austin, Texas

This tree was inducted into the American Forestry Association’s Hall of Fame for being a perfect specimen!  Unfortunately, a man in 1989 poisoned the oak to win back his love.  This hasn’t killed off the tree, thankfully, and the tree still stands today.

Panna Maria Oaks, Karnes County

Home of the very first Polish settlement in North America, this tree stands in the churchyard of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.

The Zachary Taylor Oak, Rockport, Texas

This oak is named after the 12th president of the United States.  He and his troops reportedly camped out under this oak waiting for conditions to improve before attacking Mexico.

 

Do you know of any famous oaks in Texas?

 

Oak trees are beautiful, sturdy trees that can add a sense of awe to any yard or garden.  Houston and its surrounding areas are the perfect places to grow oak trees.  

Oak trees are wonderful companions for urban and suburban areas alike.  Their long branches provide shade to cool things down and their roots go deep so they don’t disturb sidewalks and roads.  Oak trees can live for a very long time, and provide homes for many indigenous animals.  

There are many different oak trees to choose from, and many of them are popular in the area.  Here are some of the most popular oak trees to plant around your home.

Live Oaks.  Live oak trees are very common in south and central Texas.  Unlike other oaks, these trees retain their leaves all year round, so yard work for these trees is down to a minimum.  They tend to grow very wide if they have enough room to do so.

Red Oaks.  Red oaks are popular for their beautiful red turning leaves in the fall.  Red Oaks also provide very little maintenance, making this a dream for any home or business.

White Oaks.  White oaks are wonderful trees to plant anywhere, however, they are difficult to transplant.  The best way to grow a white oak is by planting it from an acorn in the exact spot you wish for it to grow.

When deciding on a place to plant your oak, be sure to find a spot that is away from other trees, power lines, and homes, as oak trees grow very large and spread very wide.  It’s also a good idea to plant your oak tree away from homes and buildings in case of a storm or inclimate weather.  

There are a lot of factors that go in to where the best place to plant an oak tree, what type of soil is the best, and how to care for your tree once it has been planted.  To ensure the safety of your tree and to encourage a long and happy life, it’s best to contact a professional.  

Which oak tree is your favorite?

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Oak trees are a staple in the Texas landscape, and for good reason.  They are big and beautiful.

Oak trees develop a strong root system very quickly, and once established, do not like to be moved.  The best way to safely transplant an oak is by doing it as early as possible, before the roots have time to take hold.  

When you have decided that you are ready to move your oak tree, make a circle about 24 inches in diameter around the tree’s trunk.  Using a sharp spade, work your way around the oak about 10 inches deep all the way around the circle.  This will prune the roots and help them to grow shorter roots, making it easier to move.

Decide where you would like to move your sapling.  Once decided, make sure to till the soil in your sunny spot.  Don’t plant the tree too close to another tree, as you want the roots to have plenty of room to grow. The hole for your tree should be as deep as the root ball and at least twice as wide.

Three months after the root pruning, it is time to move your young oak.  Dig a drench around your tree, and make sure that it’s deep enough to go underneath your root ball.  Once lifted from the ground, gently place the root ball on a tarp, keeping it out of direct sunlight.  Fill your planting hole with water and let it drain.  Carry your root ball to the planting hole and plant your tree.  Fill in with filler dirt and water your sapling until the water stands on the surface.  Repeat this process twice a week for an entire growing period.

If you buy your oak tree from a nursery, the tree will come in a pot, making it easier to transplant.  While it may seem like an easy task, oak trees are very sensitive.  Its best to have professional help to keep the oak tree safe and alive.

Do you have a place in your yard for an oak tree?

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In many different cultures and over many centuries the majestic oak tree has been incredibly important.  Over time, it has developed its own sense of symbolism.

Many countries over the years, such as Germany and England, have named the mighty oak tree as their national tree due to the oak’s enduring strength.  In 2004, the United States now calls the oak tree its national tree.

The oak tree symbolizes lasting strength and endurance, which is no surprise, as some oak trees can live up to several hundreds of years, and grow over 100 feet high!  The oak tree is also a symbol of hospitality and safety, as the oak trees expansive branch span can make for a very comfortable and shady spot to rest.  In some cultures, it is thought that the best place to bury a child is closest to an oak tree.

In ancient Greek and Roman times, wearing oak leaves signified a regal and special status.  In the U.S. Military, oak leaf clusters have appeared on awards as a symbol of merit and honor.

The acorn of the oak tree also has very special meaning.  It symbolizes unlimited potential, that something so small can grow into something so big and strong.  The acorn can also remain dormant, which shows that it is ok to rest.  Mighty oaks from little acorns grow is a proverb that gives power to the potential of one person and their ability to endure and make a difference.

Oak tress are definitely the kings of the plant world.  What does the oak tree mean to you?