Recognizing These Great Trees

by Mark Glover, 10/29/15

Trees have always been a major part of our lives. They are a stabilizing force, connection to nature, and a source of beauty we can depend on – day after day and year after year.  It’s hard to imagine life without these magnificent trees we enjoy.

We have about forty trees on just under three acres. Bob Rheudasil (my father-in-law) planted almost all these trees when he built the home on this property in the late 1960’s. Bob was a man of the dirt and a renowned tree farmer. He knew how to raise healthy trees and they have all grown to be splendid specimens.

tree awardTwo of our trees are really spectacular with immeasurable value to us. The Town of Flower Mound recently recognized these two special trees with awards. Love and appreciation for trees is something that makes Flower Mound special. We greatly appreciate these tree awards from the Town of Flower Mound!

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Bob’s Water Oak – click to enlarge

Bob’s Water Oak

34-1/2” diameter at 4-1/2’

47-1/2’ tall +/-

73’ x 65’ canopy +/-

Bob transplanted this sapling in the late 1960’s from a
creek bed off what is now Morriss Road, close to where Forest wood Middle School is. The Edward Marcus Lodge sat on this property until 1983. Bob planted several of this tree’s sons in the decades after planting this tree. Its descendants are quite impressive as well.

Neil Sperry used Bob’s Water Oak in his book, Neil Sperry’s Complete Guide to Texas Gardening, 1991, page 97. Neil recognized the quality of this tree when it was about twenty years old.  At forty-five years old now, Bob’s Water Oak is nothing short of magnificent.

Almost daily, I sit at Edward Marcus’s desk that was given to Bob Rheudasil. Just in front of 20151027_174247_001-1_resizedme, out the plate glass window, is Bob’s Water Oak.  And just beyond it, a 250 year old Post Oak. It’s a special place and I’m grateful to occupy it.

Water Oaks are not native to Flower Mound, making this tree a little rare to begin with. This tree enjoys splendid health and will continue to provide pleasure for decades to come. Bob left us quite a gift with this tree.

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Freedom Oak click to enlarge

Freedom Oak

37” diameter at 4-1/2’

42-1/2’ tall +/-

69’ x 69 ‘ canopy +/-

This Native Post Oak has stood for about 250 years. We started calling it the Freedom Oak when we first learned its approximate age. It was an acorn about the time this Nation was founded in 1776. Perhaps it is 50 years older or younger, but 1776 provides an easy point of reference.

20151029_111909_resizedThis Freedom Oak may have heard a Native American Indian telling a story of the first white men he saw. It may have felt the rolling thunder of 50,000 Buffalo storming across Long Prairie, or may have provided refuge for a pair of bear cubs trying to escape a storm.

With the arrival of white setters, this tree would have seen new breeds of animals – horses, cattle, goats and chickens. Barbed wire, farming and ranching changed the landscape; then tractors, automobiles, houses, and more progress. Generations of families have come and gone during this tree’s life. Some may have stopped to enjoy this old tree; others scurried by, too busy to pay attention to an old tree.

25253_113282378695478_100000411498448_181316_2793910_nMany of us appreciate these old trees. Beyond their beauty, trees are living history and a strong connection to nature. If you take pause under one of the old trees and listen very carefully, you can hear their mighty whispers.