John Sam Williamson from Missouri has been working to save a 350-year-old bur oak, probably the largest of its kind, by hauling 1,600 gallons of water to the tree each week. Missouri has had one of its hottest summers on record, with 99.29 percent of the state in extreme drought or worse. Williamson gets his water from the Missouri River and he told the Columbia Daily Tribune that he plans on watering the tree weekly for the next month or so. He hopes his efforts will keep the drought from killing the tree.
Even with his efforts, Williamson said that the bur oak has been showing signs of stress. “The leaves are beginning to curl up a little bit, and they have turned kind of brown. I think it has aborted a lot of the acorns. And the leaves turn upside down to keep from losing moisture,” he said.