'Taco Bell Tree' Uproots and Leaves

Historic tree rescued in Oak Hill

The tree at its old location
The tree at its old location (by Austin Heritage Tree Foundation)

A 100-year-old oak tree in Oak Hill has been saved by the Austin Heritage Tree Foundation. The tree, known as the "Taco Bell Tree" by locals, was obstructing the planned expansion of US 290. The AHTF raised $5,000 to have it transplanted last Saturday to a new location across the road.

The tree is one of the few remnants of the historic Beckett Grove in Oak Hill. Austin-bound travelers in the late 1800s would stop here to cool in the shade and enjoy the relatively clean Williamson Creek. In honor of that history, the tree has shed its former moniker and been renamed the Beckett Grove Oak.

The slightly risky transplant process went well and the oak is reportedly happy in its new digs. Its close proximity to a pecan was due to the long reach of the crane and some pesky electrical wires, but AHTF say that it will be fine.

However, the AHTF still needs to raise an additional $5,000 for unexpected expenses and the first year of care. Donations are being accepted through AHTF's site. AHTF is inviting Austinites to visit the oak with the yellow ribbon, but reminds visitors not to step on the mulched area for eight weeks to avoid damaging the rootball.

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