Most tree lovers and long-term Austinites have heard the story of the Treaty Oak, a heritage oak tree located near downtown Austin. It is a majestic reminder of the beauty, longevity, and resilience of live oak trees.
You can learn more about the Treaty Oak and its history in Austin online, and how it was nearly killed in 1989 during a horrible act of vandalism. Thankfully, it survived and still stands strong.
In November of 2019 John Griedraitis, Executive Director at ISAT (International Society of Aboriculture, Texas) worked with Kirsten Schneider, Supervisor in the Forestry Unit of the City of Austin Parks & Recreation Department, and Guy LeBlanc from Arbor Vitae Tree Care to assemble a team of skilled arborists to give the Treaty Oak a much-needed trim. Due to the legendary status of the tree, multiple arborists from several local tree care companies worked together to complete the job.
Left to right, back row: Rachel Brewster (arborist, They Might Be Monkeys), Zach Anthony (arborist, They Might Be Monkeys), Guy LeBlanc (owner, Arbor Vitae Tree Care), Markus Schneider (owner, Just Trees), Don Gardener (consulting arborist, Don Gardener Consulting), Juan Pablo (arborist, Just Trees), John Giedraitis (Executive Director, ISAT), Oscar Marquez (arborist, Heritage Tree Care). Left to right, front row: Cody Goldman (arborist, City of Austin Forestry Division), Nick Arthur (arborist, Heritage Tree Care), Sean Frasl (arborist, Full Canopy Tree Care), Vincent Debrock (owner, Heritage Tree Care). Front: Nevic Donnelly (owner, They Might Be Monkeys). Photo credit: Kirsten Schneider
Nick Arthur of Heritage Tree Care stands at the base of the Treaty Oak in Austin, Texas on November 8, 2019. Photo Credit: John Giedraitis
Guy LeBlanc and John Giedraitis pose with the Treaty Oak while Nick Arthur of Heritage Tree Care looks on from overhead. Photo Credit: John Giedraitis
Certified arborist Nick Arthur trims the Treaty Oak in Austin, Texas in 2019. Photo Credit: John Giedraitis
Jake Mitchell, an arborist with Heritage Tree Care, shows a 6′ length of sucker growth produced by the Treaty Oak in just one year. This is one indication that the tree is healthy. Photo Credit: John Giedraitis
The Treaty Oak stands tall and proud with the Austin, Texas skyline behind it. The growth on the ground in the protected area is partially from the tree itself (some of its branches brush the ground) and foliage encouraged to grow near its base to promote optimum soil health. This environment keeps the tree happy and helps it flourish. Photo Credit: John Giedraitis
Local Austin tree care companies worked together to trim the iconic Treaty Oak in November of 2019 in Austin, Texas.
In spite of malicious vandalism in 1989, the Treaty Oak still stands.
A beautiful reminder of the resilience of live oak trees.
In addition to the photos and information above, this story was published in the Austin American Statesman:
Surviving Treaty Oak gets a trim
Reporter: Jay Janner
November 9, 2019
Photos from the event were published online in the Austin American Statesman on November 9, 2019. Click here to view the photo published in the print edition.