Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Big Tree :: Ever Wonder What A 1000+ Year Old Tree Looks Like?

photo: Big'un © Biologie.

"The Big Tree" at Goose Island State Park in Texas is said to be the oldest living coastal live oak tree in the Nation. To give you an idea of it's "gorgeous oakiness of grandeur" (as I like to call it), you may use my family and other visitors on the far side of the tree as a size reference in the above photo! Wow!

The tree is a hop, skip and a jump from the coast of Aransas Bay and "he" is part of a family called Coastal Live Oaks (Quercus virginiana). These trees don't have the typical large, lobed oak leaves of the big oaks found further North. Rather, the leaves are small and ovoid.

In addition to allowing visitors to gaze happily at the wonderful mighty oak, Goose Island State Park also offers camping, birding, and fishing. You can sign up to borrow fishing gear through their "Loan A Tackle Program" if you forget your own equipment.

It's also a nice park for picnicking, nature study, wildlife observation, and photography. If you are a boater you'll be happy to note that the park even allows boats with motors! Also, there are guided nature hikes year round and guided birding tours are held from January through April. Unfortunately our visit was too short to take full advantage of all the activities offered, but we did enjoy the drive to see the handsome oak with it's gnarly branches and wonderful shade!

The Big Tree's girth is around 35 feet and it's branches make up a 90 foot canopy! Even though it's surrounded by a protective fence, you can check out the behemoth of a tree from all angles by following a circular paved pathway all the way around. When you walk up to the tree along the path you will pass it's offspring in the grove.

While my family was in Rockport for vacation my niece, Ahlyssa, picked up a list of "51 Things To Do" while we were there and that big ole beautiful tree was on the list, I'm so happy to have seen it and what a great time we all had that afternoon!

We visited The Big Tree in early April and found it surrounded by pretty Texas wildflowers of Orange Globe Mallow and Pointed Phlox. This photo (below) reflects my mood today, bright and shiny!

Orange Globe Mallow (Sphaeralcea munroana) and Pointed Phlox (Phlox cuspidata) Wildflowers
photo: © Biologie-me. FLICKR


  1. Oh, the pictures turned out great! I really love the wildflower pic, too. I'm so glad your mood was/is bright and shiny. It really was fun seeing the Big Tree with the kids.

  2. Yep, that was a great day visiting so many places in Rockport and the surrounding areas. Special and sweet times.