Posted: Apr 11, 2013 7:02 PM by Taeler De Haes
Updated: Apr 12, 2013 11:02 AM
BOONE COUNTY - A national landmark and local favorite, Big Tree, was vandalized.
Over the years, people have come to the 350-year-old bur oak tree to relax, look up at the stars and now, find a prom date.
The word "PROM?" was spray-painted red on the center of the tree, nearly 5 feet wide.
This seemingly harmless act has many Columbia residents outraged.
Ciara Jackson said her best friend showed her the tree several years ago, and she feels this vandalism is disrespectful.
"He needs to realize it's not just about him and his prom date," she said. "It's about everyone in the community."
Mizzou student Bekah Rigby said Big Tree is all about sharing stories and memories.
"The first time I went out there, I was a freshmen," she said. "It's kind of my thinking spot."
Big Tree is the biggest bur oak in North America. It is located in the Missouri River bottoms between McBaine and Huntsdale.