MacGregor Park’s MLK Memorial Tree ‘Doesn’t Look Good’

MACGREGOR PARK’S MLK MEMORIAL TREE ‘DOESN’T LOOK GOOD’ Last spring, Metro spent $100,000 to relocate this tree out of the way of the expanding Southeast Line. Planted in 1983 near Old Spanish Trail and MLK Blvd., the tree was meant to stand in for an MLK memorial that’s still to come. While Metro crews worked in May to transplant the tree a few hundred feet away to a site inside MacGregor Park, Black Heritage Society president Ovide Duncantell chained himself to it to make sure everything went off without a hitch. But now the 30-year-old tree’s “strugging to survive,” reports the Houston Chronicle‘s Robert Stanton: “‘The tree doesn’t look good to me,'” Duncantell tells Stanton. “‘I’m not in a position to say that tree is dying, but I’m hoping like hell that it’s not. The city . . . and Metro have a commitment to our organization that the tree would continue to stand there as a sentinel until that statue is completed. They should have been watering the tree all along, and this wouldn’t be a question. . . . Somebody fumbled the ball.'” Stanton adds that Metro has been watering it through an irrigation system and said it would “step up monitoring.” [Houston Chronicle] Photo: KHOU

9 Comment

  • If I recall correctly from reading about League City’s Compton Oak relocation, it’s normal for a tree to drop leaves when it’s transplanted, and the new buds are supposed to be a good sign. No offense intended to Mr. Duncantell, but he’s an activist, not an arborist. I think it’s a little early to be saying that the tree is dying.

  • Perhaps an arborist could comment on the success rate of moving a tree this size: I’d bet it is low. Anyway, trees take a long time to die and my guess is this one is toast. Soon the finger-pointing will begin in earnest.

  • I’m not an Arborist, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, and that tree is clearly and most definitely going to die. I’ve seen trees before, so I can tell you with all certainty, that one obviously didn’t get enough water. There is no need for the Chronicle to investigate this story further, publish your headline based on my anecdotal evidence alone and quote me throughout as I have years of experience dealing with these tall, leafy things.

  • Then again, if the MLK memorial tree dies they can do what they did with the dead oaks in Galveston and carve the MLK statue out of that with a chainsaw. Two birds, one stone.

  • guess all the salt i ‘split’ is finally doing its job…

  • I am still shocked we spent $100,000 to relocate it.

  • While I’m not an arborist, I seriously doubt that tree is only 30 years old. Was it raised from a seedling? If not, it is safe to assume it was many years old when it was planted in 1983.

  • Should have uses superthrive

  • the reason the tree didnt get enough water is because the irrigation pipes were leaking all summer, fall and winter. Now, yes, the tree looks grey. Even the saddest Oaks around here have some green on their branches by this point.