Treaty Oak Review
Many local legends attach themselves to Austin's most famous tree. At least 500 years old, the live oak, on Baylor Street in the West End between 5th and 6th streets, is the last survivor of a group of trees known as the Council Oaks, used in ceremonies and meetings by local Native American tribes. The tree's name derives from a legend (which may or may not be true) that underneath its branches Stephen F. Austin negotiated the first boundary agreement between the tribes and settlers. In 1989 a disturbed individual attempted to poison the tree with a powerful herbicide; he was later apprehended. Intensive efforts to save the tree were successful, although nearly two-thirds of the Treaty Oak died and it is now a shadow of its former self. Still, it's well worth a visit to pay your respects to this venerable survivor.