While surveying and photographing the Super Old Oak trees that the State of Texas has slated for destruction, we found a couple of these ancient trees that we believe have been what is called a “pointing tree.”
A pointing tree was used a method used by the Native Americans as a way to mark a trail or other important feature, i.e. water, food source, and campsite. Native American would twist, bend, trim or cut one of these trees in a manner that they would grow to point in a certain direction! I guess you could say that these trees were the highway signs of early America. Examples of this type of markers are found throughout the Americas.
These marker trees have lasted throughout history and well before the written records of America, as witnessed by the ones in the “Live Oak Forest” in Snook, Texas. These examples in Burleson County are located on private land; however, you can enjoy them through these photos.
As a matter of fact, that may soon be the only way to enjoy them, as the State of Texas has determined that even though they may well be examples of this type of historical trees that have survived hundreds of years they now have to die for progress through greater and smoother traffic flow.
TxDot planners told their engineers that they needed to build a NEW roadway around the small rural farming community in Central Texas. Snook, Texas, which has a population somewhere around 600, apparently needs relief from the severe traffic conditions which may exist only in the minds of these planners and designers. Planners determined that the ONLY place to build this new road was to put if precisely where these trees have lived for maybe 600 years. They have told the property owners that they are unable to move this right-of-way to the side of the giant trees by only a few feet. Less than 40 feet is all that it would take to save these monstrous historically significant trees.
I just hope that someone who cares about what these trees mean to the land owners and their family, Citizens of Snook, Citizens of Texas, American History, Native American History, will take notice of their plight and help stop this travesty.
Joe L. Covington
Photos by Citizens Reflection Photography, Joe Covington
UPDATE – THE STATE OF TEXAS DOT RELENTS! After a lengthy and complex process, TxDOT has agreed to make a slight change to the plans to build a bypass around Snook, Texas. This change will not cost the taxpayer of Texas any additional funds and the Trees will be spared. Rather than keeping the new road’s grassy median, they will compress the planned median , thereby decreasing the width of the new road and the result is saving the historical trees.