Flo, the iconic leaning pecan tree at Barton Springs Pool in Austin, Texas, has been removed following weeks of delays. The tree, which had become a symbol of the area, was diagnosed with brittle cinder fungus back in August. This incurable fungal infection had caused significant hollowing of the tree, rendering it unable to support itself.
Originally, the removal was scheduled for September. However, the city decided to postpone it in order to engage in meaningful communication with the community regarding the fate of this beloved tree. The officials wanted to ensure that the decision to remove Flo was understood and accepted by the locals.
Finally, on October 5, Flo was taken down as Barton Springs Pool was temporarily closed. This allowed the removal process to be carried out safely and efficiently. The removal marks the end of an era for the tree that had become an integral part of the landscape and the collective memory of Austin residents.
Prior to the removal, a gathering was organized to celebrate Flo’s life. A large crowd assembled, and various activities were held to honor the tree’s deep roots in Austin’s history. Among them was a water blessing ceremony and the sharing of stories about the significance of Flo in people’s lives. One attendee emotionally expressed, “Flo meant a lot to me, and she still is an inspiration.” Another simply remarked, “It was really sad.”
Despite the removal, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department has plans to memorialize parts of the tree. They are open to suggestions from the public on how best to honor Flo’s legacy. To facilitate this process, an outline and schedule of public meetings will be made available online. This will allow community members to actively participate in shaping the future commemoration of this iconic pecan tree.
The removal of Flo marks the end of an era for a cherished symbol of Barton Springs Pool. The tree’s battle with brittle cinder fungus has come to an unfortunate conclusion, leaving behind a void in the hearts of many Austinites. However, efforts to remember and celebrate the legacy of this beloved tree will continue, ensuring that Flo’s spirit lives on in the collective memory of the community.