“Big Tree” Hosed

Firefighters water historic South Texas oak

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    NEWSLETTERS

    David Livingston/Getty
    Firefighters show children how to direct the water spray from a firehose.

    Volunteers firefighters concerned about the drought have hosed down a massive South Texas live oak known simply as the "Big Tree."
         
    Firetrucks were used Wednesday to water the more than 1,000 year-old tree at Goose Island State Park near Rockport, about 25 miles northeast of Corpus Christi.
         
    Texas Parks and Wildlife officials said watering of the tree will continue every couple of weeks if Tropical Storm Don, which churned toward Texas on Thursday, does not provide significant rainfall.
         
    Crews drenched the base of the 44-foot-tall live oak with about 13,000 gallons of water, enough to simulate half an inch of rain. The trunk is more than 11 feet in diameter. The crown spreads at least 89 feet.

    Ranger Bill Wilson says the tree is a Texas icon.