Turner Redcedar R.I.P.

Historical Period: Texas Revolution (1835-1836)
Historical Topic: Frontier Settlements, Stephen F. Austin
Species: Eastern Redcedar (Juniperus virginiana)
County: Jasper
Public Access: No longer applicable; tree is dead

This giant eastern redcedar, which grows in front of an early East Texas settler's home, was at one time the second largest of its species in the United States, and is recorded in the Big Tree Registry of American Forests in Washington, D.C.

Its vital statistics in 2002 were: circumference, measured at 4½ feet above ground, 173 inches; total height, 80 feet; and average crown spread, 53 feet. Part of the top was blown out in a storm in the 1960s, but the tree has regrown a beautifully-shaped second crown and appears to be in a healthy condition.

Ruffin C. Turner, the tree's first owner was a “tarheel” from North Carolina. In January 1835, he applied for a grant of land in the Zavala Colony. On June 23, 1835, he received title to a league (4428 acres) and a labor (177 acres) of land in the Municipality of Bevil, now Jasper County.

On the brow of a small hill in the southwest corner of his land, Turner built the house which still stands in the shade of this tree. Both are within a few hundred yards of beautiful Indian Springs.

The owner of this historic tree does not allow public visitors.