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City Of Plano Seeks Artist To Repurpose City's Oldest, Largest Tree

The tree fell during storms in late 2023

The city of Plano is currently inviting woodworkers and artists from North Texas to submit proposals for crafting artistic pieces commemorating the Quadricentennial Bur Oak Tree, which fell during a storm in October 2023. 

The wood from the tree is presently stored in Plano, awaiting future projects. It has been divided into 5-foot sections, with diameters varying from 4 to 50 inches. North Texas artists and woodworkers assigned to the project have the option to sell, donate or retain the completed items.

Applications will be open for submission starting Monday, February 26, and will close on Sunday, March 24, 2024. Submissions received after March 24 will not be considered. A panel of judges will assess and score each proposal. Eligible applicants must be woodworkers and artists aged 18 years and above, residing in North Texas, and possessing experience in crafting wooden art pieces.

The Plano Quadri/Quincentennial Bur Oak, believed to be the largest and oldest tree in North Texas, toppled during storms on Oct. 25, 2023. Upon inspection, the exposed trunk displayed significant decay, and the four bolts previously drilled through the tree proved inadequate to stabilize the splitting trunk.

Prior to its fall, the majestic Bur Oak stood at 90 feet, with a circumference of 213 inches and a crown spread of 105 feet. According to the Texas Historic Tree Coalition, the bur oak was estimated to be at least 400 years old, possibly even older. 

“We know the tree means a lot to this community," a spokesperson from Plano Parks and Recreation said at the time. "We are working with our urban forester and local arborists to appropriately take care of what remains of this Plano icon. Unfortunately, large portions of the tree are rotted and unusable for lumber and will be recycled. In fact, much of the tree’s trunk was hollow by the time it fell. Notwithstanding the large amount of rot, we still hope to repurpose some of the healthy wood into commemorative wood pieces.”

The tree was not only celebrated for its age and size; the coalition emphasized its profound importance to Plano's history.

Before the city park was created, the land changed hands among various owners, including the Dr. Daniel Rowlett Family, Colonel Landon W. Oglesby, the William T. Land Family, William D. Prince and the Claude C. Albritton Family. Despite the Land Family utilizing the property's timber for their west Plano farm, they chose to preserve the bur oak tree.

In 2002, the citizens of Plano marked the tree's significance and recognized the historical value of the surrounding land during Plano's Arbor Day Celebration.

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