2016 Oak Tree Update

2016 Oak Tree Update

The biggest concern in the park is still trees. The oak tree that is on the sidewalk above the collection between the two commemorative benches is wreaking havoc with the pools and the ecosystem. It throws tassels and debris into the pool all of the time. Those tassels make the water very unsightly as they float on the surface. Then as they saturate and sink they cause even more problems. They decay and make the water tannic in nature. The pools are difficult to maintain in a balance because chemicals cannot be used to control algae that this debris breeds. The tree drops leaves, branches, tassels and acorns throughout the entire waterlily growing season.

This is a great concern as most of the year there are near drought conditions in this part of Texas. The tree is also causing structural issues with the concrete and brick sidewalks. In addition to the already mentioned items it also throws larger items in high winds that are frequent in the wide open flat land of San Angelo. Larger debris from the tree can destroy Victoria and waterlily pads. If it hits a Victoria before they put up more than a few pads, you will have lost the plant. The tree attracts black aphids that produce honeydew throughout the season. It is sticky and a nuisance. The aphids fall into the pool and then begin to infest the pads on the waterlilies. This damages the plant. Once the pads die, the plant will die. Once again, no chemicals can be used for control measures.
The decision has been made several times to remove the tree but still it stands and still it causes problems.

We want to let those that visit this season know that because of the issues listed above, we are going to leave 30 feet of the primary unplanted due to year long debris from the poorly placed live oak tree. This decision may be reversed pending removal of the tree presently before a committee. Carl White the Parks and Recreation Director has agreed numerous times to remove the tree.
We truly hope that this will be resolved so that we may utilize all of our display space. If you care about the IWC and the waterlily displays, please reach out to Carl to help us resolve this.

Carl White is the City of San Angelo’s Parks and Recreation Director. Contact him at 325-657-4450 or email to carl.white@cosatx.us.

I had Ken send me a couple of perspective shots of the Oak Tree that will help illustrate its already cumbersome size.
The 10th picture (Above Left) is from the inside corner of pool 2 just above the center of the primary and the fonts that act as waterfalls.

Many people ask why the tree is a problem. What harm is it doing?
The 12th shot (Above Right) is from the end of the primary basin looking straight up into the sky. Look how far it has already outstretched over the basin.

All of the problems the tree presents such as leaves, tassels and acorns only need to fall straight down into the water from gravity. Additionally when the aphids show up on the tree they follow the debris down and suck the life out of the waterlilies. Additionally waterlilies need full sun to thrive and the shade this produces keeps those under the shade from blooming.

This may be a great spot to relax or have a picnic but it is inappropriate for a water garden.You only need to look at competitive water gardens such as Longwood Botanical Gardens or Denver Botanical Gardens to see that they have trees but none are near the edges of their water displays.