The “Big Tree”, Is located in Aransas County on the Lamar Peninsula near the town of Rockport, Texas. It is considered one of the most famous live oaks in the world after being named “Texas State Champion Virginia Live Oak” (Quercus virginianus) in 1969. The “Big Tree” is still thought to be one of the largest live oak specimens in the United States, and a must-stop destination when traveling through the area.
Despite the widespread, historically significant devastation of the surrounding region, the “Big Tree” was relatively unscathed by Hurricane Harvey, a category 4 hurricane that hit Rockport on August 25, 2017
Visiting the “Big Tree” today is easy with available roadside parking. The base of the tree is cordoned off to dissuade climbers, but visitors are nonetheless able to stand below the crown to appreciate the tree’s massive size.
If you would like to visit the big tree here is a map of how to get there:
According to climatologists, the “Big Tree” has survived from anywhere between forty and fifty major hurricanes, including the most recent, Harvey, as well as numerous floods, droughts, and wildfires.
The Texas Forest Service estimates the tree to be over 1,000 years old, while other recent estimates place it nearer to 2,000 years old. Also known as Bishop Oak and Lamar Oak, the “Big Tree” is a charter member (#16) of the Live Oak Society and has been the subject of one of Ripley’s “Believe It or Not” cartoons. The “Big Tree” is possibly the oldest extant live oak in the world. It possesses a circumference of over 35 feet and is more than 45 feet tall, while the crown’s spread is 90 feet.
“Record” or “champion” trees are determined by a cumulative measure of their girth, their spread, and their height, however, the near-continuous Gulf breeze limits the height of the “Big Tree”; therefore, there exist many other live oak specimens that are actually taller, but once girth is factored in, that measure makes the “Big Tree” the second-largest live oak in Texas.
The “Big Tree” statistics:
- Trunk circumference: 35 feet 1.75 inches or 10.71 meters
- Average trunk diameter: 11 feet 2.25 inches or 3.41 meters
- Crown spread: 89 feet or 27.1 meters
- Height: 44 feet or 13.4 meters
- Age: Exact age is unknown – but it is centuries old.
Here is what some of its many visitors have had to say about it:
Please visit our website RockportFulton.com to learn more about the Rockport Fulton area and also check out our Facebook page Facebook.com/RockportFulton to get the latest news and happening about the Tree.