Legend has it that travelers to Austin once rested in the shade of this and other oaks in Oak Hill's Becket Grove, watering their horses in nearby Williamson Creek. Population growth and development have done away with most of the oaks, but this one remains and you can help to save it.
Help save this heritage oak in Oak Hill
This heritage oak tree is located in the path of the precursor to the Oak Hill Parkway at the corner of W. Wm. Cannon and Hwy 290 West. It was originally scheduled to be removed in October but that date was postponed due to neighborhood action. The tree is somewhat of a neighborhood landmark known as the "Taco Bell Tree" because for years there was a Taco Bell in the parking lot. Several groups have come together to save the tree by having it transplanted elsewhere in the area, but they are running out of time to raise the money. TxDoT is scheduled to remove the tree if the funds to cover the transplantation aren't raised by Dec.31, 2013.
The Austin Heritage Tree Foundation has applied for and received a grant from the City of Austin to pay for most of the removal and transplanting costs but still needs to raise about $15,000. Cypress Grill (4404 W. Wm. Cannon) held a small fundraiser on Dec. 21 and private donations are still possible, but the goal has yet to be reached.
Jack Allen's Kitchen (7720 Hwy 71 West)in Oak Hill will donate some of the proceeds from meals purchased in the restaurant today and tonight, Monday, Dec. 30. However, guests must mention saving the tree to activate the donation. So dine out, speak up, and help save the Taco Bell Tree!
To make donations by phone, call 512/447-1566 ext. 1 and specify your donation is for the Taco Bell Tree.