I visited The Big Tree this week at Goose Island State Park during my trip to the Rockport area for the Hummer Celebration. The Big Tree is a live oak over 1,000 years old and was named the Champion Live Oak Tree of Texas in 1969.
The “Big Tree” statistics:
- Trunk circumference: 35 feet 1.75 inches or 10.71 meters
- Average trunk diameter: 11 feet 2.25 inches or 3.41 meters
- Crown spread: 89 feet or 27.1 meters
- Height: 44 feet or 13.4 meters
- Age: In excess of 1,000 years
There are smaller live oaks surrounding this venerable old tree, almost as beautiful.
My friend, Susan a resident of Rockport, said “I love to come here to see this tree.” The age of it and the graceful, gnarly limbs pulled me, too, towards it. Maybe I thought of it as a survivor. A testament to standing in the face of adversity.
The tree has inspired several poems. This is my favorite:
I have gathered sun and rain to grow green leaves,
Swaying softly in spring, rustling like applause in fall.
My limbs have shaded generations;
My roots have reached for centuries;
My children and their children’s children surround me,
Here in this peaceful part of my land.
Golden sunlight diamonds have glinted on the ground around me.
Cold fingers of ice have touched my heartwood.
Dust-dry days of sandstorms have scoured my skin.
Torrents of rain, driven by gales have rushed at me,
And I have swayed, but stayed unbroken.
Silver moonlight has kept me company many a night.
Yet through all the seasons, sorrows, bitterness, and beauty,
All of the history I have withstood and witnessed,
There has been one thing I could not do.
I could not grow green dollars, or silver, or gold.
Will you help me, standing here before me?
Then we may both grow old together,
As old friends should,
One of flesh, one of wood.
by Mary Hoekstra, Rockport
One day the trees we have planted at The Raincatcher’s Garden of Midway Hills will also be as inspiring!
Hummer Celebration Pictures from last year here.