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"We cannot preserve and celebrate trees that we fail to recognize are important. We have a moral obligation to document historic trees and their legacies for future generations to enjoy...before they are gone forever."

- Mr. Steve Houser, Arborilogical Services
Waco Tree
The Waco/Hueco Indian Village Live Oak Grove is a living witness to the daily activities of the Waco/Hueco Tribe. There are five beautiful Live Oaks in the grove of which one (pictured above) is bent. Photo by Bill Seaman.

Texas Historic Tree Coalition (TxHTC)

Before the Dallas Historic Tree Coalition was established, it was clear there was a need for an organization to recognize significant or historic trees and to encourage their preservation for future generations to enjoy.

The basic vision of the group is to be responsible advocates and stewards for irreplaceable trees. They are dedicated to finding, researching, recognizing, and celebrating historic trees in Texas.

The group's efforts expanded over time to include the recognition of significant trees around the state and their name changed to the Texas Historic Tree Coalition or TxHTC. 

The group is science based and seeks the best information available from historians, arborists, archaeologists, anthropologists, environmentalists, and other experts in relevant fields. They also promote wise and responsible stewardship of trees and view them as natural assets that must be carefully managed.

The organization meets in our company office on a regular basis and we have always been strong supporters of their worthy efforts.

What is a Historic Tree?

A historic tree is a tree (or group of trees) that are at least 50 years old and share a significant event (or events) in a specific place in time. What is “significant” could vary according to the point of view, but the Texas Historic Tree Coalition often refers to historians, anthropologists, and other experts for recommendations. In essence, credible historic reference materials must be provided and historic references should be corroborated by a reputable source before TXHTC can pursue further investigation. Size, age, or a great story behind a tree, can also contribute to a tree's significance.

Pictured above is the oldest known tree in the City of Plano, The Quadricentennial Bur Oak. Located in the Southeast section of Bob Woodruff Park, it is the oldest living thing documented in North Texas.

Unfortunately, this tree was lost to a storm on October 27, 2023.

Select picture above to watch the City of Plano's video about the loss of this tree.

The Wagon Yard Elm

What is a Heritage Tree?

A heritage tree has deep significance to a community. Again, what is of “deep significance” can vary but should be quantified as much as possible. As an example, if a new tree (or grove of trees) was planted in honor of an individual or a group of people who are significant to the community, an application for recognition could be submitted.

Pictured above is the Wagon Yard Elm, a majestic American Elm located on a remnant of Blackland Prairie. It is a living witness to the activities related to a turn of the century farming community. Over the years, it has provided shade for traveling families and their livestock while they attended church, buried a loved one, or met for a special occasion.

New Braunfels Comanche Council Oak a.k.a. The Founders' Oak

What is an Indian Marker Tree?

An Indian marker tree was used to mark important resources, an event, or a location. One form of marker tree was the bent tree, which is also called a turning, pointing, or leaning tree. In some cases, Indian marker trees were not bent, such as the “Treaty Oak” in Austin or “Medicine Trees” created by the Ute Indians.

Indian marker trees are living witnesses to the history of a past civilization and its people's incredible way of life. These trees are a significant part of our nation's cultural heritage and they are priceless cultural treasures.

Pictured above is the New Braunfels Founders' Oak and Comanche Council Oak, recognized in 2023.

The Texas Historic Tree Coalition logo

Historic Tree Registry

The Historic Tree Registry is a program set up to identify and honor historic and heritage trees in the state of Texas. The trees that have been recognized on the Historic Tree Registry can be found on the Texas Historic Tree Coalition website in the "Trees" drop down menu at "Historic and Heritage Trees". To nominate a tree for historic or heritage status, please submit a preliminary "Historic Tree Nomination Form". Once received by the Historic Tree Project Manager, if the tree meets the minimum criteria a more thorough nomination form will be sent to you for completion. The same form is used for both historic and heritage nominations since many of the criteria are the same.

An example of a historic tree listing on the coalition's website that includes the tree's historic summary and narrative, as well as credible reference materials is displayed on the Texas Tree Trails website for the "Plano Quincentennial Bur Oak".

Arborilogical Services is a proud supported of Texas Tree Trails. Texas Tree Trails logo

Texas Tree Trails

Over time, it became clear there was a need to showcase all the historic, significant and champion trees which are recognized to allow the public to enjoy them. Champion trees are the largest of any given tree species found in various regions of the state. In 2001, TxHTC formed a partnership with the Texas Forest Service, Trinity Blacklands Urban Forestry Council (in Dallas) and the Cross Timbers Urban Forestry Council (in Fort Worth) known as the Texas Tree Trails. At the time, websites were a new concept and the vision was to take the public on a virtual tour of our most significant trees. It is also an organization that our company continues to provide volunteers and financial support.                

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