The Texas Historic Tree Coalition, a non-profit, all-volunteer group based in Dallas, has announced its ambitious project to find, recognize, and celebrate at least one historic tree in each of Texas’ 254 counties.
Through its Texas County Historic Tree Initiative, the organization hopes to bring recognition to the living landmarks that connect the present with the historic people, places, and events in Texas communities.
The coalition recently announced the program, shortly after changing its name from the Dallas Historic Tree Coalition to the Texas Historic Tree Coalition to better reflect the statewide scope of the organization’s work.
“We have had great success in recognizing historic trees in the Dallas-Fort Worth area,” said Bill Seaman, THTC trustee and chairman of the initiative. “We have been asked to recognize trees for their historic importance in other parts of the state, so we have decided to do it in a big way.”
The Texas Historic Tree Coalition’s most recent recognition and celebration occurred last October at Waco where a grove of mammoth live oaks still shade the site of the Waco-Hueco Indian village. The Indian campground was documented in an 1824 letter from early colonist Thomas Duke to Stephen F. Austin. The eight trees that comprise the remnant grove are living witnesses to the daily activities of the Waco-Hueco Indians, along with the birth and growth of the Central Texas community that has become the city of Waco.
The Texas Historic Tree Coalition is soliciting historic tree nominations from county historic commissions, historic societies, and local history buffs, and is focusing its attention on trees whose stories have yet to be told. The criteria are broad. Trees do not necessarily need to be old, but they do need to have a direct connection to the local history of the community.
“We are asking everyone who submits a nomination to make their case,” Seaman said. “Our committee will look at the documentation and verify the sources. Those trees with the strongest connections to Texas county history will be recognized and become part of an online, public database on the Texas Historic Tree Coalition website. It is our hope that communities across the state will take this opportunity to celebrate the historic trees that exist in their own back yards.”
The Texas Historic Tree Coalition will begin recognizing nominated trees in 2015. To learn more, visit the Texas Historic Tree Coalition’s website at txhtc.org or contact project chairman Bill Seaman at firstname.lastname@example.org., or regional chair Jonathan Vinson at email@example.com.