The Big Tree at Goose Island Park

One of the largest live oak trees in Texas, and in the nation, will soon have roots in Precinct 4. Seedlings harvested last year from The Big Tree at Goose Island Park in Rockport are now available for fostering.

At 44 feet tall, this giant tree lives up to its name. The tree’s trunk measures an impressive 35 feet around and the crown has a spread of 89 feet. Also known as Mighty Oak, Bishop’s Oak, Lamar Oak, and Grandfather, The Big Tree was crowned the State Champion Coastal Live Oak in 1966. The ancient tree is estimated to be approximately 1,100 years old and has lived through countless diseases, civilizations, and hurricanes, including Hurricane Harvey.

An onsite plaque commemorates The Big Tree’s tenacity:

“Welcome to my home…For most of my life, I belonged only to myself. Now I belong to you, or so I’m told…Some years ago, someone came and patched my cracks, trimmed my dead branches, killed my pests, and healed my fungus rots. Was that you? I’m feeling much better, thank you…Please leave my home as you found it … The seasons are changing again, and I must get ready.”

The Foster-A-Legacy Tree program is part of Harris County Precinct 4’s Legacy Tree Project, a program committed to promoting the benefits of trees, supporting the cultural heritage of Texas, and engaging the public through volunteer and planting opportunities.

If you are interested in fostering a legacy tree, contact Mercer Botanic Gardens at 713-274-4160 or visit www.hcp4.net/legacytrees/. Schools and non-profits may request to have a legacy tree planted on their premises.