Plano mourns the loss of the oldest and largest tree in North Texas

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A police chase started Friday afternoon that reportedly started in Plano. This is chopper video of police finding the driver's abandoned car.

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"To see your favorite tree laying on the ground, I'm kind of in mourning, you know. I don't know how to describe it," said arborist Steve Houser."When I'd climb out onto the ends of the smaller ends, the wind's blowing you back and forth," Houser said."And it's kind of like this ancient old lady is kind of rocking you in her arms.""Not as much as losing a family member or your favorite pet or something," he said.

Believed to be the largest and oldest tree in North Texas, the bur oak collapsed in Wednesday's storms surrounded by several inches of rain that flooded the park. The exposed trunk revealed extensive rot. The four large bolts drilled through the tree in years past were not enough to hold the splitting trunk together.

"To see it gone now, it's an emotional thing for me," Houser said."And to see your favorite tree laying on the ground, I'm kind of in mourning, you know. I don't know how to describe it.""We were working really hard on doing everything we could to keep this tree alive," Beaudoing said of limited pruning, the installation of lightning protection, vertical mulching and fertilization to strengthen the tree."We feel like we did everything we could.

In 2006, strong winds severed a large limb from the tree, which was used to get a more accurate age estimate. The limb alone was estimated at 226 years old, leading experts to calculate the tree itself at more than 400.is asking the public to stay away from the area due to unsafe conditions. A City of Plano spokesperson says they have not yet decided what to do with the remnants of the tree and/or its historic location.

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