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The Comanche Council Oak (a.k.a. Founders’ Oak) is a Live Oak in Landa Park, New Braunfels, Texas. It is a massive tree believed to be over 300 years old and it measures over 8.6 feet in diameter near the base. The height is over 50 feet, and the crown spread is 100 feet by 85 feet. It was officially recognized by the Comanche Nation in December of 2021 as a living witness to their amazing history and culture.
According to Mr. Jimmy W. Arterberry in the book Comanche Marker Trees of Texas; “Treaty/Council Trees are utilized for business purposes. They are service trees, marker trees, and ceremonial trees. They can also be turning trees, medicinal trees, or burial trees, but are generally denoted for their use in marking a particular gathering or meeting location.”
Landa Park contains the Comal Springs, which are the largest in the state and feed the nearby Comal River. The park also contains one of the earliest trails in Texas, known as the El Camino Real de los Tejas.
A historical marker on the site notes:
“1700 This tree began as a seedling in this major campsite of Central Texas American Indians. Archeology has traced the American Indians’ presence here to 13,000 years ago…”
The Live Oak is also well known across Texas as the New Braunfels “Founders’ Oak.” It has been formally recognized by the Texas Forest Service as a Famous Trees of Texas.
The Texas Forest Service website states:
“The Founders’ Oak is called as such 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.”
For more information regarding the Founders’ Oak Famous Trees of Texas designation, visit the Texas Forest Service website.
Please join the Texas Historic Tree Coalition along with the City of New Braunfels on their Community Arbor Day, Saturday, October 21, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. We will celebrate the Founders’ Oak’s official recognition as a Comanche Marker Tree by the Comanche Nation.
Saturday, October 21, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. New Braunfels Community Arbor Day and Comanche Council Oak Tree Dedication Ceremony at Founders’ Oak. Visit NewBraunfels.gov/CivicAlerts to view the October 4, 2023, City of New Braunfels News Flash about this event.