Man Tries to Save Majestic oak Tree

A majestic bur oak in mid-Missouri survived the Civil War and floods, but this summer’s drought has taken a toll on the tree. One man is hauling hundreds of gallons of water in an effort to save it. . .

Landowner John Sam Williamson said that for the first time he can remember he had to haul water into the Missouri River bottoms last week for the massive oak tree that sits on his 1,000-acre farm. Williamson deposited two loads of about 850 gallons of water that soaked into the ground quickly. The U.S. Drought Monitor this week said more than 99 percent of Missouri is in one of the two worst drought categories. More than one-third of the state, including most of Boone County, is in an exceptional drought, the most severe category. The tree, which stands at least 90 feet tall, was estimated by the University of Missouri Forestry Club in the 1950s to be 300 years old, making the tree about 350 years old today. If the club’s estimate is accurate, the bur oak was already more than 100 years old when the Williamson family bought the land it stands on in 1835.