Skip to the content

Rainstorm Uproots Beloved 400-Year-Old Bur Oak in Plano, Texas

Plano’s beloved 400-year-old bur oak was uprooted as a rainstorm passed through Texas. (Photo: David R. Tribble/Wikimedia Commons)

Published October 30, 2023, By RICH CO

A 400-year-old bur oak was uprooted by a nighttime rainstorm, and the city of Plano, Texas, awoke to lament its loss.
Plano's Beloved 400-Year-Old Bur Oak

Arborist Steve Houser remembers sitting in one of the branches of the Quadri/Quincentennial Bur Oak, which is located high above Bob Woodruff Park in Plano.

According to Houser, when he would climb out onto the smaller ends, the wind would blow him back and forth, and it would appear as though an elderly woman was rocking him in her arms.

It is therefore personal for him that the estimated 400-year-old tree was lost on Wednesday.

He claimed that while it may not be as devastating as losing a loved one or a pet, it is still very much on par.

The bur oak, which was thought to be the biggest and oldest tree in North Texas, fell during the rains on Wednesday, and the park was inundated as a result. There was a lot of decay visible in the trunk.

The tree's splitting trunk could not be held together by the four big bolts that had been drilled into it in previous years.

Houser, an arborist who has spent more than 25 years working with the City of Plano to protect the tree, appeared to be grieving the loss of a long-lost friend as he sat quietly on a park bench on Friday.

Select the picture above to be taken to the Plano Parks & Recreation posting about the loss of the Quadricentennial Bur Oak.

Urban forester for the City of Plano Mark Beaudoing expressed disappointment over the tree's demise.

According to Beaudoing, they have been working extremely hard to do everything in their power to save this tree for the past years.

In order to enhance the tree, he discussed restricted trimming, installing lightning protection, vertical mulching, and fertilizer.

According to Beaudoing, they exerted every effort. He claimed that although they gave it their all, it wasn't enough.

The Ancient Bur Oak in History

The Quadri/Quincentennial Bur Oak tree is estimated by the Texas Historic Tree Coalition to be approximately 90 feet tall, with a circumference of 196 inches and a crown spread of 103 feet.

Several knowledgeable arborists estimated the age of the Plano tree to be 243 years old in the 1980s.

The tree was acknowledged as having been there when the US Constitution was signed and named the Bicentennial Tree in 1987.

The Dallas Historic Tree Coalition (now the Texas Historic Tree Coalition) designated the tree as historic in February 2002.

Strong winds in 2006 tore off a sizable branch from the tree, which was used to calculate the tree's age more precisely. Experts calculated that the tree itself was almost 400 years old, based only on the estimated age of the limb, which was 226 years.

Because of the dangerous conditions, the City of Plano Parks and Recreation Department is requesting that the public avoid the area. A representative for the City of Plano said no decisions have been made about the tree's remains or its former placement.

About the author

Mr. Rich Co writes for

Do your trees need help?

We're ready to grow a relationship.