Community rallies to save a historic tree in Klein

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Community tries to save a historic tree in Klein (KTRK)

A community on the north side is coming together to save a historic tree from being cut down. Its future is being threatened by a gas station set to be built at the corner of Louetta and TC Jester.

The people trying to save this tree say it isn't any old Oak. It's on the edge of the Strack Farms restaurant, BBQ pit, and reception hall which are landmarks for the folks who live in the area. They say this tree is the last piece of their history on this corner.

"The big part to Klein ISD is the preservation of our culture, the heritage of the founding families that settled it. That to me speaks volumes to this tree," says Klein ISD Historian Steve Baird. "So you have a tree here that is a testament to those early settlers."

"I guess it's just a tree that takes us back to the olden days and the heritage of the community," said Mary Beth Kreml with the Terranova West Homeowners Association.

The community Kreml referenced has grown by leaps and bounds since she moved here in the 70s. In those olden days, the Strack family restaurants on the corner of Louetta and TC Jester thrived.

"This used to be Strack Farms property and they used to graze cattle on this property," Kreml said.

People got married on the property. Any given day, Kreml says you could drive by and see someone taking pictures. But last year the Stracks sold the property.

A Circle K and retail center is expected to be built at the location. The proposed driveway cuts right across the tree.

"We'd like the tree to be saved. So we'd like for the people who are going to build here to move the driveway probably north a little bit so the tree can stay here," Kreml said.

People in the community have written letters to Circle K to save the tree. They say they've gotten no response. We called Circle K on Tuesday, and a spokesman says they've gotten the letters and the concerns will be addressed. The spokesman went on to say they want to be great community partners.

An arborist checked this tree out and tells us it's likely at least 130 years old and in good health. Circle K was not able to tell us when the construction is supposed to start.
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