The Treaty Oak is the last surviving member of the Council Oaks. Since the 1880s, the tree had been privately owned by the Caldwell family. In 1937 the City of Austin purchased the land for $1,000 and installed a plaque honoring the tree’s role in Texas history.
In 1989, in an act of deliberate vandalism, the tree was poisoned with the powerful hardwood herbicide. DuPont, the herbicide manufacturer, established a $10,000 reward to capture the poisoner. The vandal, Paul Cullen, was apprehended after reportedly bragging about poisoning the tree as a means of casting a spell. Cullen was convicted of felony criminal mischief and sentenced to serve nine years in prison.
Although arborists expected the tree to die, the Treaty Oak survived. However, almost two-thirds of the tree died and more than half of its crown had to be pruned.
Today the tree is a thriving, but as a lopsided reminder of its once-grand form. Many Texans see the Treaty Oak today as a symbol of strength and endurance.
You can park on the street, sometimes, you will need to pay a meter. It’s at 507 Baylor Street. Austin, Texas.
By the way, I went through the garage parking area outside and I didn’t realize that the bar that hung up the entrance, above my truck camper was a little shorter and it smashed my roof vent. Sheesh. I had to replace it a few days later. Just beware of the “lower than I expected” bars. It was at 6″9′ and that was not enough. Now I know I will go through, with flying colors, more than 7″4′ or above from now on. 🙂