Precinct 4’s Kissing Tree Named A ‘Famous Tree of Texas’

Precinct 4’s Kissing Tree has long been recognized in the community for its colorful history and prominent location along T.C. Jester. But Texans across the state may also come to know the tree now that the Texas A&M Forest Service designated it a “Famous Tree of Texas” this month.

The elite historical designation is meant “to memorialize those trees which have been witness to some of the exciting periods and events in Texas’ frontier history,” according to the original Famous Trees of Texas book published in the 1970s.

To secure the tree’s designation, Laura Medick, who heads Precinct 4’s Legacy Trees Project, traced the tree’s history back hundreds of years to Herman Strack, a German settler who came to the United States in 1848. According to Strack family records, Kissing Tree marked Strack’s homestead and blacksmith shop. When Earnest Strack, a descendant of Herman Strack, inherited the property, he opened a restaurant and wedding hall near the tree in the 1980s. The tree became so popular among couples that it earned the name Kissing Tree.

When a convenience store bought the property years later and threatened to cut the tree down, Precinct 4 Commissioner R. Jack Cagle intervened. Precinct 4 bought the property and converted it into a small park. Guests are welcome to visit the park and take photos with the historic tree at 5707 Louetta Road.

Kissing Tree is Precinct 4’s first designated Famous Tree of Texas, although the precinct grows many saplings named in Famous Trees of Texas as part of its Legacy Trees Project. Commissioner Cagle started the Legacy Trees Project in 2015 with a mission of bringing historic trees featured in Famous Trees of Texas to Precinct 4.

For more information about Precinct 4’s Legacy Trees Project, visit www.hcp4.net/legacytrees/. For more information about Kissing Tree and the Famous Trees of Texas program, visit famoustreesoftexas.tamu.edu.