By Christopher Green
A 260-year-old tree in Buda is not only getting new life, but also a new name.
Last month, the Friends of the Buda Library, in conjunction with the city of Buda, renamed a heritage oak on the property of the current city hall facility as “Guardian Oak.”
The renaming was part of a contest held by the FoBL to name the tree, which had been relocated on the site of the city hall.
In 2016, the city of Buda spent $300,000 to relocate the tree, which was set to be cut down as it was in the footprint of the new municipal site.
Community support for saving the tree led city officials to relocate it.
The tree, later renamed Guardian Oak, was relocated to the Buda Municipal Site in front of the police station.
Blanca Houston, former chair of the FoBL, said relocating the tree was important for the area.
“I think it was a wonderful thing that we did,” Houston said. “For us as a community to say we don’t want to cut this tree down, we want to preserve it was a big deal, and then we had the idea to name it.”
Joan Givens, secretary of Friends of the Buda Library Board, who was on the committee that helped in the relocation process, said survival of the tree following the relocation process gave inspiration for the Friends of the Buda Library to give the tree a name.
Givens said the FoBL turned to the residents for name suggestions. Approximately 40 names were submitted, with five names as finalists.
Givens said the tree was given the name Guardian Oak because it had been removed from in front of the police station.
“It had moved from the police station, which is where the people who guard our community are, to a location where really the tree still stands guard over our community,” Givens said. “It honors the people who guard our community like police and first responders.”