Owner of "Big Tree" says vandalization is hurting it

5 months 3 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
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities say two people have been killed and a dozen others wounded since Saturday in St.... More >>
2 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 8:28:00 AM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – As temperatures start dipping, Columbia looks to make improvements to its outdoor sports fields. The Columbia City... More >>
2 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 7:52:00 AM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The family of a Sedalia boy injured in a weekend ATV accident told school officials he had died,... More >>
2 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 6:45:00 AM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – “Rural Progress and Pride” is the theme of this year's Missouri Community Betterment (MCB) Conference. “Our focus... More >>
2 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 3:22:00 AM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
BURLINGTON JUNCTION, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a Missouri man has died in a highway motorcycle crash. The Missouri... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, October 15 2017 Oct 15, 2017 Sunday, October 15, 2017 11:18:57 PM CDT October 15, 2017 in News
HARTSBURG - The annual Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival ended Sunday, but the two day event was filled with various food options,... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, October 15 2017 Oct 15, 2017 Sunday, October 15, 2017 4:17:00 PM CDT October 15, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - The Greater Missouri Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention hosted its third annual Out of the... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, October 15 2017 Oct 15, 2017 Sunday, October 15, 2017 1:58:00 PM CDT October 15, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City man has received a 40-year prison sentence for having sex with a... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, October 15 2017 Oct 15, 2017 Sunday, October 15, 2017 1:00:57 PM CDT October 15, 2017 in News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Two pit bulls have been shot to death in the last week in Springfield, where city... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, October 15 2017 Oct 15, 2017 Sunday, October 15, 2017 12:56:00 PM CDT October 15, 2017 in News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A Springfield City Utilities official says the company will continue to focus on alternative energy despite... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, October 15 2017 Oct 15, 2017 Sunday, October 15, 2017 11:14:00 AM CDT October 15, 2017 in News
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — No. 4 Georgia found its running game after a slow start and took control with 26... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, October 15 2017 Oct 15, 2017 Sunday, October 15, 2017 8:46:00 AM CDT October 15, 2017 in Sports
COLUMBIA - While the drive-in restaurant industry has experienced a decline, one Columbia drive-in location is thriving. Mugs Up... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, October 15 2017 Oct 15, 2017 Sunday, October 15, 2017 6:24:00 AM CDT October 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - People First of Boone County held their second annual Walk and Roll a Thon Saturday afternoon at Stephen's... More >>
4 days ago Saturday, October 14 2017 Oct 14, 2017 Saturday, October 14, 2017 6:52:00 PM CDT October 14, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City NAACP chapter hosted its 54th annual Freedom Fund and Silent Auction Saturday. This year's... More >>
4 days ago Saturday, October 14 2017 Oct 14, 2017 Saturday, October 14, 2017 6:47:00 PM CDT October 14, 2017 in News
ATHENS, Ga. - Just one week removed from their own homecoming, the Missouri Tigers (1-4, 0-3 SEC) travel to Sanford... More >>
4 days ago Saturday, October 14 2017 Oct 14, 2017 Saturday, October 14, 2017 4:20:00 PM CDT October 14, 2017 in Sports
COLUMBIA - Sunday, author of "Fiddler’s Dream," Howard Wight Marshall will have a concert and book signing at the Museum... More >>
4 days ago Saturday, October 14 2017 Oct 14, 2017 Saturday, October 14, 2017 3:06:00 PM CDT October 14, 2017 in News
ARROW ROCK - A window to the past was opened at the 49th annual Arrow Rock Heritage Festival. Over 70... More >>
4 days ago Saturday, October 14 2017 Oct 14, 2017 Saturday, October 14, 2017 2:51:00 PM CDT October 14, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - For the 58th straight year, Central Bank of Boone County and the Columbia Art League teamed up for... More >>
4 days ago Saturday, October 14 2017 Oct 14, 2017 Saturday, October 14, 2017 2:44:00 PM CDT October 14, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 56°
1am 57°
2am 56°
3am 55°
4am 54°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

11:37p
Late Night with Seth Meyers
12:37a
Last Call with Carson Daly
1:07a
Inside Edition
12:00a
King of the Hill
12:30a
Cops
1:00a
Top 30

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Superstore
7:30p
The Good Place
8:00p
Will & Grace
8:31p
Great News
9:00p
Chicago Fire
7:00p
Supernatural
8:00p
Arrow
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld