Owner of "Big Tree" says vandalization is hurting it

9 months 4 weeks 1 day ago Thursday, April 27 2017 Apr 27, 2017 Thursday, April 27, 2017 3:37:00 PM CDT April 27, 2017 in 8 Goes Green
By: Austin Hough, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Boone County's iconic "Big Tree" is being damaged by vandals spray painting its base, according to its owner, John Williamson.

Chemicals in the paint can damage the tree, but Williamson said taking it off sometimes causes more damage to the tree than the spray paint itself.

"Unfortunately, there's no good way to take that off. It would really be harder on the tree to remove any paint or anything like that."

That hasn't stopped Williamson and friends from covering up the spray paint. He and a friend, Ana Lopez, put mud over the spray paint to keep the tree looking in its best shape possible.

"It's a constant battle of educating people," Lopez said on how to prevent future vandalizing of the tree. "That's all we can really try to do, is educate people. Hopefully people will want to keep the tree alive a little longer and not continue to abuse on it."

Big Tree, which sits just south of the small town of McBane, is more than 300 years old. At 74 feet tall and 294 inches in circumference, it is the biggest bur oak tree in North America. It is not known how much longer the tree has until it dies.

"It's a living thing, just like humans. Eventually, it will die," Williamson said. "And that'll be really said."

Williamson is a sixth-generation owner of the property where Big Tree sits. His family has owned the property since 1835. He said that Big Tree is more than a tree for him.

"I see it everyday. It's like it's a part of the family." 

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri is one of three states that has not outlawed texting while driving for drivers 21 and... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 3:34:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – A local business owner is facing charges of marijuana possession and distribution. Osama Nadir Yanis and his... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 3:05:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Pharmacy specialists outlined ways to address the opioid crisis as they spoke Wednesday in Columbia. Faculty members... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 2:57:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri House is leaning toward making it a felony to purposefully send explicit images without consent,... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 2:55:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia Regional Airport canceled two departures and delayed an arrival Wednesday because of the weather; but not the... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 2:19:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The dangers of opioids are forcing police to change the way they test drugs... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 1:39:08 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Authorities say a man and woman from Missouri have admitted to selling male enhancement pills that... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 1:18:08 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Springfield man has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a teenager with a mental disability... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:49:46 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri bill would confiscate licenses from teenagers accused of unlawful driving. The Springfield... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:46:17 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
TIPTON - What started off as a one-day service project has turned into a month-long fundraiser. Members of the... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:28:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
TUSCUMBIA - The Miller County Prosecutor's Office charged a man with murder on Wednesday in connection with a September 2017... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:09:48 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JOPLIN (AP) — University libraries across Missouri are spending more of their budgets on online resources and subscriptions, as... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 11:26:29 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
FORSYTH (AP) — Forest Service officials say wildfires in Taney County last week are being investigated as possible arson.... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 11:15:00 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — An Illinois megadonor is contributing $500,000 to the effort to make Missouri a right-to-work... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 10:59:41 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Officers arrested a man on Tuesday following an investigation into alleged domestic assault. The 74-year-old female... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 10:53:00 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
TRENTON (AP) — Authorities say a man has been arrested in the theft of an ambulance from a northwest... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 9:37:11 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
MARCELINE (AP) — Authorities say a train has struck and killed a third-grader in northern Missouri. The... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 9:28:00 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Solid Waste Utility and Downtown Community Improvement District will meet Wednesday night to discuss the... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 7:50:00 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 33°
4am 36°
5am 35°
6am 34°
7am 34°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

3:30a
Paid Program
4:00a
Paid Program
4:30a
Wild About Animals
3:30a
Paid Program
4:00a
Paid Program
4:30a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
9:30p
A.P. Bio
7:00p
It Could Happen to You
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Family Guy