City of AustinFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
All third-party Certified Arborist assessments of the iconic Barton Springs leaning pecan tree affectionately known as “Flo” are now complete.
All third-party Certified Arborist assessments of the iconic Barton Springs leaning pecan tree affectionately known as “Flo” are now complete. After evaluating all options and public safety risk, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) sadly must remove the tree.
The Department recognizes the importance of this tree to many community members and welcomes them to visit “Flo” for a Celebration of Life ceremony on September 13 at 7:00 PM at Barton Springs Pool. The event honoring “Flo” will feature a water blessing and provide attendees with time to say farewell to this beloved old friend.
In addition, the Department is collecting stories, memories, and photos about “Flo.” The public is also invited to share their remembrances at email@example.com.
Background and Next Steps
Following the confirmed lab diagnosis of Kretzschmaria deusta on August 15, 2023, PARD contacted independent Certified Arborists to provide follow-up inspections and independent professional opinions to help guide management decisions. All four Arborists recommended removal of “Flo” due to safety concerns and the lack of treatment options.
There is no effective treatment for brittle cinder fungus. Because the disease feeds on live tissue, it can cause otherwise healthy-looking trees to collapse under their own weight. The City Arborist confirmed that the presence of Kretzschmaria deusta meets the dead, diseased, or imminent criteria for protected and heritage trees and, therefore, will issue a removal permit without requiring mitigation or an administrative variance. The tree removal is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, September 14 during hours that the Barton Springs Pool is closed to allow for a safety work zone.
Currently, a restricted area extends into the pool and prevents ADA access to the bathrooms, as the ADA path goes directly under the tree. Additionally, if the tree were to come down naturally, there would likely be damage to the pool deck that would need to be addressed.
For more information about “Flo” including background information, photos, and reports, visit austintexas.gov/BSPtree.