Tuesday, October 7, 2014

SHSU Botanical Research (Field Study) Pecan Tree, Part 1

This a little known fact about one of the Pecan trees planted 15' from another famous Pecan tree near the Sam Houston Woodland home site. 

Did you know that Senator Phil Gram planted it in 1987?  Yes, in fact he was there on the Museum grounds for several reasons.  First to commemorate the 151st anniversary of Sam Houston's election as President of the Republic of Texas, and to convince Texas leaders to restore funding for the complex.

A copy of actual newspaper article photo of the event
The same tree planted by the Senator
as it looks in 2014
The tree sapling that started this chain of events was planted by Sam Houston back in 1847.  His granddaughter, Mrs. Jennie Morrow Decker of Houston recants the story.  She tells that Houston was on a trip home in his horse drawn buggy and was having difficulty with a lazy horse.  He was in need of a whip and improvised by using a Pecan tree sapling growing near a creek that he pulled it out.  When arriving home Houston realized the sapling still had viable roots and decided to plant the tree.
That little sapling grew to 13 feet in circumference, and 100 feet tall.  The tree lived until 1974 until the water table dried up. 

Texas is recently enduring another season of drought.  Unfortunately more trees on the grounds have died, but Peter, Grounds Manager, came up with a creative way to reuse the recent loss of trees.  He had the trunks made into seats.  The public seems to love using these for photo opportunities.  Halloween brought a young mom and her toddler to use the seat for their photos.

Fortunately the Great Grandson Tree
of the original sapling
planted by Sam Houston lives on.
Many of its' seedlings were transplanted around the property and the State Capitol grounds.  This native tree is very prolific in nut production and the excess fruit was distributed to Texas schools and colleges around Sam Houston State University.  So famous was Houston's Pecan Tree it was adopted as our State Tree.
The next blog post will give more detail of these trees Field Sketches and more interesting facts.
Until Next Time.

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