Landmark Trees Celebrated at Six Texas Sites
Published November 16, 2023, By JULIE THIBODEAUX
The Texas Historic Tree Coalition has seemed busier than usual, with six tree dedications held this year.
But Marion Lineberry, president of the Dallas-based coalition, said the group is just completing public ceremonies sidelined by the pandemic, inclement weather and other circumstances beyond their control.
In April, the nearly 30-year-old tree advocacy group honored two landmark pecan trees — the Fort Parker Pecan in Limestone County, located near Cynthia Parker's childhood home, and the West Dallas Gateway Pecan at Beckley and Commerce, located near the point of entry for many early visitors to Dallas. The Gateway Pecan is the first tree to be declared historic by the Dallas City Council. (READ the Green Source DFW article.)
Earlier this fall, the Coalition held ceremonies for three locations — Comanche Creek Live Oak Grove in Granbury, the Singing Trees in Glen Rose and the Comanche Council Live Oak in New Braunfels. (READ more about below.)
The Comanche Creek Live Oak Grove in Granbury has been occupied by human settlers for thousands of years for its shade and water seepage. Courtesy of the Texas Historic Tree Coalition.
ANCIENT CAMP SITE
In September, the Coalition held a ceremony for the Comanche Creek Live Oak Grove in Granbury. The site has attracted human travelers and settlers for 8,000 years, based on archaeological findings. The grove of 50 mature live oaks provide ample shade and feature a natural spring. It was used by Indigenous people until they were pushed out of the area. In the 1800s, the property was turned into a ranch.
Also honored by the Coaliton in September, the 300-year-old live oaks overlooking the Paluxy River in Glen Rose, known as the Singing Trees.
During the 1950s, a resort-style sanitarium was located on the property. A patient, A.C. Solberg, was inspired to write the song Singing Trees, later performed and recorded by Elvis Presley in 1967 for the movie Clambake.
Today two of the three trees reside on the property, now operating as the Inn on the River.
The Singing Trees in Glen Rose inspired a song recorded by Elvis Presley. Courtesy of Texas Historic Tree Coalition.
One of the most impressive trees in Texas was honored by the Texas Historic Tree Coalition in October.
The massive 300-year-old tree in Landa Park in New Braunfels is known as the Comanche Council Live Oak.
"It's one of the biggest trees in Texas," said Marion Lineberry, president of the Texas Historic Tree Coalition. "It sits right on the banks of the river, right next to a spring, near the El Camino Real de los Tejas."
Archeology has traced the Indians’ presence at the to 13,000 years ago. Historians surmise it was the site of tribal meetings and ceremonies. It was officially recognized by the Comanche Nation in December of 2021 as a living witness to their amazing history and culture.
A massive 300-year-old tree in Landa Park in New Braunfels is known as the Comanche Council Oak. Courtesy of the Texas Historic Tree Coalition.
The tree was refered to as the Founders’ Oak by white settlers, who came later.
It has been formally recognized by the Texas Forest Service as a Famous Tree of Texas.
According to the Texas Forest Service:
“The ‘Founders’ Oak’ was given its name because it has long played a part in the activities of the community’s founders. The first schoolteacher of the colony conducted group singing beneath the boughs of the tree. Abbe Domenech apparently offered mass under the tree in 1849. Each year after 1846, the citizens of New Braunfels gathered on July 4th to read the Declaration of Independence under the tree.”