Million Dollar Monarch Goes to Wood Chipper

The famous pecan tree at Preston and Armstrong, known as the Million Dollar Monarch, is apparently in some trouble. When I drove by it this morning, I was saddened to see police tape around its perimeter and a good portion of its canopy lying in chunks on the ground. The tree dates back to 1865. Christmas won’t be the same without that beauty all lit up. Let’s hold a thought for her, FrontBurnervians.


  • CDD

    there was a nice little piece on the history of this tree that I saw last night on KERA. I thoroughly enjoyed the history lesson. what a great story!

  • @ CDD: Yessir (or ma’am). Follow that link.

  • Ex-E, Ex-S

    I wonder if Neil Sperry got to it before the wood chipper did its work to use some of the wood for his custom wooden ink pens?

  • CDD

    doh. missed that link. thanks!

  • Patrick

    I heard George & Laura are going to build a house where the tree was…

  • alan

    Higher quality streaming version of the film available here:

  • publicnewsense

    Word among arborists in town is the tree fell victim to Pecan Carbonization Blight, something that happens to these trees when they are exposed to consistent emissions from large gasoline or diesel powered vehicles. This is why the state will not allow pecan trees to be planted along freeways. PCB is such a real threat in urban areas — arborists look for signs when the grey squirrels begin to have a brown or reddish tint to their tails. Oaks and pines appear to be immune to this. Citing the Urban Arborists “Saplings & Seedlings” newsletter from about 2 years ago.

  • MIssing Dots

    My wife coerced the seedlings out of my million dollar monarch last night. Teeth don’t feel too good on it, so I can’t imagine the pain a wood chipper would cause.

  • MIssing Dots


  • Mark

    Was the tree dead ? It looked ok to me in July. PCG didn’t kill that tree. It died from TMCL (too many christmas lights). One more reason Dallas sucks.

  • Marcus

    I contracted a bad case Pecan Carbonization Blight in college.

  • publicnewsense

    Why would Frontburner censor the first word in “idiot savant” but let Missing Dot’s seedlings/teeth comment fly?

  • JB

    Pecan trees can live up to 300 to 500 years old. Realistically, they are viable trees for at least 50 to 100 years. So I would say at 153 y.o. It could have very well just been its time. It will be sad to see it go though.

  • chandler

    Because this is the Bizarro FB. On the real FB you can call people names, but innuendo is strictly verboten.

  • DM

    I’m sure someone will plant a fruitless Bradford Pear there…

  • Rawlins Gilliland

    Regarding this tree, there was a lovely documentary on PBS, produced by KERA I believe, that chronicles this tree’s long and spectacular and unlikely history. For that tree to be lost, or even compromised, is very sad. As JB mentions, pecans can live hundreds of years. In the (Trinity) forest (unexposed to gasoline engine emission proximity) , there are trunks so large near the northeast corner that I suspect they are easily 250 years old. Unfortunately, DART, building the ‘Green Line’ through the eastern strip railroad corridor, is ravaging as many of these specimens as their Cretan trimmers can manage. Their trucks dumping fill dirt 10 feet against these giant’s trunk where the tree suffocating to death is probable. In both Spanish and English I plead with them but they act like I am speaking Greek.

  • Grant

    I heard there was a lovely documentary on PBS, produced by KERA I believe, about this tree.

    You really should have mentioned the documentary. If you could not reference it by linking with 3 of the first 4 words of the post then at the very least I would think that 4 of the first 6 comments should have mentioned it.

  • Rawlins Gilliland

    Grant, Sorry about that. I grew up withing walking distance of that tree and responded from the heart less than with an editor’s eye to former posts. Sorry. It was a well intentioned ommission.

  • Rawlins Gilliland

    ‘Million Dollar Monarch’ of the Park Cities

    Rob Tranchin at KERA short film about the “Million Dollar Monarch” of the Park Cities, a large pecan tree that stands in a median near Preston and Armstrong. The tree has been around since the 19th century.

  • fruitdog

    Wasn’t there a doc on PBS about that tree?

  • What’s PBS?

  • Rawlins Gilliland

    Bethany: What’s PBS?????

    It’s the new urban text code for Palin’s BS.

  • jrp

    isn’t it that monthly bill that boys starting getting in their early teens?

  • Peterk

    gee if everyone would just click on the link that TimR provided in the posting they would get taken directly to KERA’s website where they could view a portion of the ‘Million Dollar Monarch’ film or you can click here

  • John

    Is there a link or something? I’d like to learn more. Thanks.

  • WCM

    Isn’t there a documentary about this tree?