Historic council oak gets new designation for Oklahoma centennial

By Staff Reports    
Monday, 29 October 2007
The State of Oklahoma has selected Tulsa’s Council Oak tree – which marked Tulsa’s birth as a community – as an official “Witness Tree” as part of the state’s centennial celebration.   The Centennial Witness Tree project’s mission is to identify trees which “witnessed” Oklahoma statehood in 1907 and to locate the first trees planted by Oklahoma settlers.

“We are proud to have the Council Oak tree designated as an official Witness Tree,” said Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor.  “This tree has indeed stood as a symbol of our heritage and history.  Oklahoma has much to celebrate in this centennial year, and a ‘witness tree’ is a fitting designation for this celebration.”

A mature post oak, the tree in Council Oak Park at 18th Street and Cheyenne Avenue, marks the location of the traditional ceremonial ground chosen in 1836 by the Lochapoka clan of the Creek Indian tribe after their U.S. government-mandated migration from Alabama in 1934.  The Tulsa-Lochapoka established their “town” on this site and gathered here for ceremonies, feasts and games as late as 1896, and commemorative tribal ceremonies are held at the site annually.

Council Oak Park, often referred to as Tulsa’s first City Hall, is protected by Historic Preservation zoning and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Trees eligible for the Witness Tree Project must have an estimated age of more than 100 years and stand within the boundaries of the state of Oklahoma.  Each Witness Tree will be registered on an official list, and the owner will receive an Oklahoma Centennial Commission Certificate.  Descriptions of the tree’s historical significance, or any special-interest stories about the Witness Trees, will be compiled and published in a commemorative booklet.

Last Updated ( Monday, 29 October 2007 )