The Goose Island Live Oak was named the National Championship Live Oak Tree in 1996 based on its gargantuan size: 35 feet in circumference, 44 feet tall and a crown spread of 89 feet. These measurements made it the largest live oak in Texas at that time and one of the biggest in the nation. While it has not been scientifically documented, arborists agree that the Big Tree is over 1,000 years old!
Legend has it that the cannibalistic Karankawa Indian tribe held ceremonies under the Big Tree where they ate their enemies and even ate members of their own tribe who had broken tribal rules. Pirates were also believed to have met here and divide up the gold and jewelry after defeating an enemy ship.
At the base of the tree there is a plaque inscribed with a wonderful poem:
I am a live oak tree and I am very old. I have seen spring return more than a thousand times. I can remember hundreds of hurricanes, most I’d rather forget, but I withstood. There was a big fire once – I hate fires.
Around me are my offspring. We are on old-dune community. We provide shelter and acorns for squirrels, jays, raccoons, bobwhite, deer, javelina, and most other members of our community.
For most of my life, I belonged only to myself. Now I belong to you, or so I am told. Humpf! Branch Breakers and root tramplers the lot of you.
Some years ago, someone came and patched my cracks, trimmed by dead branches, killed my pests and healed my fungus rots. Was that you? I’m feeling much better, thank you.
I am tired now. You may leave me in peace when you are ready to go. Please leave my home as you found it. I have important things to do. The seasons are changing again and I must get ready.
The Big Tree can be found in Goose Island State Park near Rockport Texas. There are signs in the park showing visitors the easiest path to the tree.
Planting and caring for your Legendary Tree is easy — see the Tree Care page for more information. The saplings we sell are just over a year old, approaching 3 feet tall, and in 1-gallon containers. They are shipped in a well-designed, eco-friendly recycled paper box. We use FedEx ground and guarantee arrival within 5 business days of your order.