Tree of Tomorrow: Monarch Descendant Planted in Douglas Park

Highland Park’s Big Pecan may be gone, but its descendants keep spreading.

Town leaders celebrated Arbor Day on April 29 in Douglas Park by planting an 8-foot-plus tall tree grown from a pecan dropped a few years ago by the giant once known as the Million Dollar Monarch.

“When the tree reaches maturity in several years, it will be about 60-80 feet tall,” town staff announced in an invitation to the planting ceremony.

The original Big Pecan stood for 150-plus years, once topping 75-feet by 75-feet, and served as the focus of the town’s annual Christmas tree lighting on Armstrong Parkway Near Preston Road.

After disease, damage, and years of decline prompted the removal of the massive tree in 2019, the ceremony switched to an adjacent, genetically related tree now known as the Landmark Tree.

Civil war veteran Joseph Cole saved the original sapling that grew to become a symbol of the town’s resilience.
Mayor Margo Goodwin said the new Douglas Park tree also represents foresight.

“We don’t just deal with the immediate; we plan for the future,” Goodwin said. “That tree will represent the town.”

William Taylor

William Taylor, editor of Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People, shares a name and a birthday with his dad and a love for community journalism with his colleagues at People Newspapers. He joined the staff in 2016 after more than 25 years working for daily newspapers in such places as Alexandria, Louisiana; Baton Rouge; McKinney; San Angelo; and Sherman, though not in anywhere near that order. A city manager once told him that “city government is the best government” because of its potential to improve the lives of its residents. William still enjoys covering municipal government and many other topics. Follow him on Twitter @Seminarydropout. He apologizes in advance to the Joneses for any angry Tweets that might slip out about the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL season. You also can reach him at For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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