Sunday, July 14, 2024

Granbury trees gets recognized by Texas Historic Tree Coalition

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A grove of live oaks located in Granbury were recognized by the Texas Historic Tree Coalition on September 23.

The live oaks, owned by Steve and Karen Adams, are the first trees in Granbury to be recognized by the coalition.

The Adams have been living at their property located off Paluxy Highway for around 18 years now. The trees are a part of the Comanche Creek Live Oak Grove that sits on the Adams’ property.

“This started out as an attempt to save our trees from the United Co-Operative from creating a line that would trim and kill our trees,” Steve Adams said. “We have trees from 50-300 years old with 51 total on the property.”

The Adams had an investigation done by the North Texas Archeological Society in January of last year where they found artifacts much older than trees and had the property declared as an archaeological site.

“It is wonderful. Everybody has their own castle and do things to landscape and upkeep their property, but we’re the opposite. We want to leave it like it should be and preserve it. I feel it’s a duty to take care of the property for future generations to come,” Adams added.

The Adams were presented with an official proclamation from the Texas Historic Tree Coalition stating that “Whereas Comanche Creek Live Oak Grove is located among natural seeps at the headwaters of Comanche Creek and is likely descended from generations of escarpment live oak on this site: and whereas the Comanche Creek Live Oak Grove witnessed periods of habitation for thousands of years that made the grove attractive to hunters and farmers for several thousand years based on archeological findings; and whereas the Comanche Creek Live Oak Grove sits at the interaction of 1800s trails leading west from Comanche Peak and southwest from Granbury, making a natural meeting point for native tribes and then early settlers; and whereas in the early 1900s, the Comanche Creek Live Oak Grove was home to a ranch site supporting a farrier, smokehouse, agricultural repair, and ceramist; and whereas the Comache Creek Live Oak Grove holds and makes living witness to quintessential Texas history, from the artifacts buried within its roots to the ranching site built beneath its shade; now therefore, the Texas Historic Tree Coalition does hereby proclaim the Comanche Creek Live Oak Grove to be official Historic Trees, which will be listed din our Historic Tree Registry as living legends and testament to our history as a state on this day September 23, 2023.”

For a tree to become recognized, a nomination must be sent in, and the proper documentation is required to show that the tree is historic or has some cultural significance.

The coalition is run by volunteer members, including a couple of arborists and a board of trustees who work to research, recognize, and preserve historic trees throughout the state of Texas and started back in 1995 originally just serving Dallas. The coalition became the Texas Historic Tree Coalition in 2014.

There have been around 80 trees recognized since the start with an average of about three to four trees a year over a 25-year period according to Lineberry.

The coalition also works in part with Texas A&M Forrest Service where they focus more on famous trees.

Adams had contacted the Texas A&M Forrest service to which one of their arborists went out to look at the tree to which they deemed it historic based on the size of the tree and the diameter of the trunk. There was also an archaeological site inspection done on the Adams’ property and dig tests.

“The current goal of the coalition is to recognize a historic tree in every county in Texas,” President of the TCHTC Marion Lineberry said.

This is a part of the new Texas County Historic Tree Initiative. According to the coalition website, the coalition is asking every County Historic Commission to join them in this project by nominating as many as three trees for consideration. The timeline for this project is currently open-ended. The focus is to find trees that haven’t had their stories told yet.