DALLAS — As the saying goes, one man’s tree is another man’s treasure.
Okay, not quite, but it fits here in Highland Park.
It’s said that a man by the name of Joseph Cole had just returned home from the Civil War, and discovered a pecan tree that had been plowed over.
After recently witnessing so much death and destruction, he decided to hand water, and protect the tree.
150 years later, the big pecan tree still stands, and it has it’s own little parkway, protecting the roots after Cole passed away. Because, the neighborhood it’s in, many refer to it as the Million Dollar Monarch.
Others call the mammoth tree, the Community’s Christmas Tree.
“Families gather, and celebrate Christmas together, and sing Christmas carols,” neighborhood resident Renee says. “A very special icon in the neighborhood.”
Every Christmas since the 1920’s it’s strung with 5,000 lights.
It’s recognized has the oldest community tradition of its type in Dallas county.
But, it seems we are nearing the last chapter of this history book. The Big Pecan Tree’s health is irreversibly declining.
At the moment, the town’s Park Department is working with an arborist to see if the historic landmark can be preserved.
“The Town’s Parks Department has been working with an independent, certified arborist to evaluate the overall health of The Big Pecan Tree,” a Highland Park spokesperson says. “While The Big Pecan Tree has proven to be extraordinarily resilient, age appears to be a contributing factor to its current decline. Further assessment will provide us a better picture of the degree of decline, and the options available to us to preserve the Town’s historic landmark.”
“I think it’s worth saving, it’s a special tree, so it deserves being taken care of in a special way,” says Renee.
While the tree has proven extraordinary resilience over the years, death is inevitable. Hopefully, the life the tree has breathed into the community won’t ever come to an end.