Treaty Oak LbNA # 65685 (ARCHIVED)
|Placed Date||Sep 1 2013|
|Location||Treaty Oak Park, Austin, TX|
Treaty Oak is a Southern Live Oak (Quercus virginiana) with a long and colorful history.
This tree once stood at the center of The Council Oaks, a grove of 14 trees said to have been a sacred meeting place for Comanche and Tonkawa tribes. It is now the only of The Council Oaks left standing. According to the plaque in front of the tree, it was estimated to be 100 years old when Christopher Columbus landed on North American soil. It takes its name from a legend that, in the 1830s, Stephen F. Austin negotiated a boundary treaty with the Native Americans under its branches.
In 1927 Treaty Oak was inducted into the American Forestry Hall of Fame as the "most perfect specimen" of a tree in North America.
But in 1989, the tree was intentionally poisoned by Paul Cullen. Cullen vandalized the tree, supposedly in a self-prescribed ritual driven by unrequited love. One theory is that he based his actions on a ceremony Native American women performed. Tea was brewed from the acorns of Treaty Oak. Drinking it was believed to bring warrior husbands back from the battlefield. Cullen served 9 years in prison for his crime. The tree lost half its canopy but survived due to the drastic preservation efforts of billionaire H. Ross Perot.
In 1997 Treaty Oak produced its first crop of acorns since the poisoning. The acorns were germinated, and in 2003 1,000 descendent trees were planted in the community.
find the box:
Treaty Oak stands at 507 Baylor St. Stand on Baylor facing the tree. Walk to a bench in the far right corner of the small park surrounding the tree. Sit on the bench. A few feet in front of your left knee is a small tree. Stand with your back to its trunk, facing the parking lot along W. 5th St. Walk straight ahead to a stone wall. Take 2 steps left along the wall. Look between the ivy and the wall at ground level for the box.