Iconic Barton Springs pecan tree 'Flo' celebrated before removal

The Barton Springs pecan tree, which many know as Flo, has watched generations come and go below its branches.

"I've been swimming in the springs for 40-plus years," said Desi Burke, an attendee. "She's provided a lot of shade for lots of people, for generations."

Now the swimmers are taking a moment to celebrate Flo's life before the tree makes its depart from the springs.

"I think of Flo as a symbol of our love for trees and our love for nature and Mother Earth," said a speaker.

Almost a hundred years since the first photo of Flo, a crowd captured some of its last moments.

"This paper and this charcoal, and I thought this would be a good way to remember the tree," said Shanti, an attendee.

The celebration of life included a water blessing, and stories about how Flo became more than just a tree.

"Flo meant a lot to me, and she still is an inspiration, so I thought this is a good way to remember her one more time," said Shanti.

In August, Austin Parks and Rec announced the tree was diagnosed with a fungus that could cause the tree to collapse.


The decision to take it down was met with opposition and two protesters Wednesday night.

Others here said it just feels too soon.

"I was really sad to know that it was going to happen sooner," said Burke.

Flo will officially start coming down on Thursday.

The pool will be closed.

The Austin Parks and Rec Department said they plan to memorialize parts of the tree, and they are open to public suggestions.