State Parks: Champion Trees

Old Baldy, from website

Old Baldy, from website

This is Passport to Texas

Not all champions cross the finish line first. In state parks we have champion trees that earned their honors for simply existing. Our State park Guide Bryan Frasier explains.

69— By champion trees, we mean the biggest or the oldest or something that’s historically noted about these trees. And one that’s probably the least known, is the second oldest sycamore tree in Texas, which is inside Palmetto State park. I saw it for the first time the other day — could not believe my eyes. In fact, I thought it was a live oak, until I backed up and looked up and saw the leaves on it. It was amazing! And then there’s Old Baldy, which is inside McKinney Falls State Park, right in the city limits of Austin. And it’s a big bald cypress tree; the largest bald cypress tree on public land in the state of Texas. It’s a hundred and three feet tall and the circumference is sixteen feet on this tree, and it’s 500 years old — and it was named Austin’s tree of the year. And then, of course, we can’t not mention the Big Tree at Goose Island State Park. It’s the oldest coastal live oak in the United States at more than a thousand years old. In state parks, we take special care to make sure these champion trees are looked after and that they’re around for generations to see and enjoy in the future.

Thanks, Bryan.

That’s our show for today…with funding provided by Chevrolet, supporting outdoor recreation in Texas; because there’s life to be done.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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