Monday morning marked another huge victory and milestone in the “Big Ross” supporters’ goal to save the historic oak tree. Irma Sanchez turned in over 1,500 signatures to Commissioners Court who, in turn, each signed the petition asking TxDOT to “leave it alone.” The oak tree, dubbed “Big Ross,” sits at the intersection of FM 2504 and 476 in Rossville. Over the years it has become a huge landmark for Rossville residents, travelers and even first responders.
Shayleigh Uribe began an online petition on June 28, and in less than 24 hours, it gained 500 signatures. The online petition alone received just over 1,500 signatures.
“We also sat at the [Ross- ville] Community Center one day to give those who might not have Facebook or whatever the opportunity to come in person and sign the petition,” said Sanchez. “We sat there for five hours and got 60-plus signatures. So, people are really concerned about the tree.”
Big Ross supporters have heard from people everywhere including Atascosa County residents and even some from outof state who are just tree savers or are originally from the Rossville/Poteet area.
“We’ve heard from people in Somerset, Devine, Floresville, everywhere,” said Sanchez. “The tree can speak for itself. No one ever says ‘a’ tree, they say ‘the’ tree. I think if that tree goes, it will take away our welcome center. You get to that tree and you know you’re in Rossville.”
Sanchez went on to explain how if one looks at the old maps of the area, you can tell the roadways have developed around Big Ross over time. She went on to explain how when she sees the tree, she thinks to herself, “I’m home.”
“I really hope that Tx- DOT reconsiders tearing [Big Ross] down,” she said.
Judge Hurley along with Commissioners Mark Gillespie, Stuart Knowlton, Eliseo Perez and Stuart Knowlton each added their own signatures to the 1,500-plus names on the petition.
Sanchez announced Monday afternoon in the “Save Big Ross Oak Tree (Rossville, Texas)” Facebook page that she received an email from Judge Hurley informing her the petition has been forwarded onto TxDOT. At this time, TxDOT will continue on with their project to create turning lanes at the Big Ross intersection, but are leaving the historic tree alone for the time being.