Iconic Barton Springs leaning pecan tree 'Flo' to be removed Oct. 5

"Flo", the iconic leaning pecan tree at Barton Springs Pool, is set to be removed this week.

Austin's Parks & Recreation Department says due to the safety risks, Flo will be removed on Oct. 5 when Barton Springs Pool is closed.

The tree was diagnosed with Kretzchmaria deusta, a brittle cinder fungus, on Aug. 15, 2023. Austin PARD says there is no effective treatment for the fungus, as the disease feeds on live tissue and can cause otherwise healthy-looking trees to collapse under their own weight.

Structural defects in the tree have existed for decades, and PARD says it has worked hard to support and maintain the tree. However, those defects combined with the confirmed diagnosis of brittle cinder fungus, which has no cure, will cause this tree to fail. 

A tree of Flo's size in an area of high use, even with barricades blocking access, is a life safety hazard, says PARD. All arborist reports and a timeline of Flo’s life in photos is available online.

The tree has grown beside Barton Springs Pool for generations: the earliest known photos of the tree are dated from 1925-1926.

Flo was originally scheduled for removal in early September, but PARD held off to receive input from the community. 

The public is invited to honor Flo at a Celebration of Life on Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 6:30 p.m. at Barton Springs Pool. The ceremony will include a water blessing, speakers sharing about Flo's almost 100-year history, and music. Attendees should plan to park on the south side of the pool and walk around due to limited space in the main lot.

Residents are encouraged to share their stories, memories and photos of Flo by emailing treestories@austintexas.gov and stories can be viewed online.

PARD says it will be collaborating with community stakeholders to honor and memorialize Flo. An outline and schedule of public meetings will be available online.