The flo of life
Famous Barton Springs tree will be removed after all, memorial rescheduled
It's official: "Flo" will be removed from Barton Springs Pool later this week.
In late August, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) announced that a beloved, decades-old pecan tree located at the pool – affectionately known as "Flo" – had been diagnosed with a wood decay fungus called Kretzschmaria deusta, or brittle cinder fungus. The PARD said this disease weakens roots and wood at the base of a tree and has been known to cause whole tree failures in trees that otherwise look healthy.
Following the diagnosis, the PARD contacted three independent certified arborists to do a follow-up inspection and provide independent professional opinions to help guide decision-making. Once those assessments were complete, the PARD announced on Sept. 8 that after evaluating all the options and the public safety risk, it had decided to remove Flo.
But then department walked that announcement back. On Sept. 11, the PARD said it had decided to delay the removal of the tree while it reviewed "additional considerations."
Then, on Sept. 19, the department spoke to the Austin City Council, saying the tree is fragile and could fall over at any time. It said "Flo" needs to be removed because the damage is beyond repair.
On Oct. 2, the PARD announced that Flo will be removed on Thursday, Oct. 5, when Barton Springs Pool is closed.
Prior to the tree's removal, the community can honor Flo at a "Celebration of Life" ceremony scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 6:30 p.m. The ceremony will include a water blessing, speakers detailing Flo's history and music. The PARD said attendees should plan to park on the south side of the pool and walk around due to limited space in the main lot.
Read the full story and watch the video at KVUE.com.