Lake Meredith’s “Big Tree” has fallen

The Lake Meredith National Recreations Area’s well-known “Big Tree” has fallen. Due to the years of vandalism and repeated fires, the cottonwood tree was severely damaged, hollow, and unstable. On Monday, Oct. 17, 2011, Southern Plains Fire Group, the wildland fire crew stationed at Lake Meredith, removed the tree for the safety of citizens using the Blue Creek off-road area. Superintendent Cindy Ott-Jones said, “It was a magnificent tree, enjoyed by countless families and children. It’s tragic that the actions of these vandals over the years have led to demise of this natural wonder.”It is important to keep landmarks preserved and help keep away vandalism. This tree had to be removed due to such acts, as well as to make the recreation area safe for families in its vicinities. The slightest gust of wind could have resulted in serious injuries or even death to those around it.