National Preservation Month Feature: Celebrating Arlington Historic Trees
By Cheryl Donaldson, Landmark Preservation Commissioner
Posted on May 09, 2022, May 09, 2022

Did you know that May is Historic Preservation Month? Throughout the month of May, the Landmark Preservation Commission is featuring historic sites and structures to highlight Arlington’s unique history. Share your favorite pieces of Arlington history on your social media or by email to [email protected]!

In the Landmark Preservation Commission, it is common for us to focus primarily on historic structures, such as homes or other buildings. This year, the Landmark Preservation Commission would like to expand our purview and bring some much needed and deserved awareness to and to celebrate the historic trees in Arlington. Let me share some brief Arlington tree history with you.

Most of us have heard of “Cross Timbers”, which is a term that describes an area that spans from southern Kansas, through the center of Oklahoma, all the way here to central Texas. What most people do not know is that this vast region is called “Cross Timbers” because it encompassed an expansive forest of Post Oaks, which were also known as Cross Oaks. 

The expanse of these trees was so vast and dense that they were very nearly impenetrable and came to be known as the “cast iron forest” due to the hardiness of the foliage. As communities, railway, and highway systems expanded across the prairies, most of these wonderful trees were lost due to these expansions as well as incidents of blight. 

Today, these trees can still be found throughout Arlington and our beautiful city has grown, and continues to grow, it is important to continue to preserve our historic structures, but equally important for all of us to try to preserve and save as many of these precious historic trees as possible. In October 2019, the Texas Historic Tree Coalition designated a 200 old oak tree in Arlington as a recognized historic tree. The Old Caddo Oak is located in the Sheri Capehart Southwest Nature Preserve. 

The Landmark Preservation Commission, in our new efforts to recognize and celebrate the historic trees in our city, will begin efforts to locate these trees. We would like to not only celebrate the trees, but also give special recognition to the people who have these trees on their property and would like to protect them. Our call to the community is that if you are aware of a historic tree or trees (post oak or other) you feel deserves special acknowledgement and protection to please reach out to us.Arlington Historic Oak

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