Big Oak Damaged in Thomasville

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"The big oak" as it's known in Thomasville is a local landmark, but early Wednesday morning it was severely damaged, and some residents are grieving for their treasured tree.

"I had to come immediately and see what the damage was."

For Carol Singletary the big oak isn't just a Thomasville landmark, it's a part of her family. Singletary's mother grew up with the Big Oak as her backyard.

Carol says, "It was a part of my childhood too with my cousins and I playing in the tree in the backyard, so it's a big part of our family history.”

A flashing yellow light warns drivers of low clearance, but Thomasville police say a truck turned onto Monroe Street, hitting the branches and causing severe damage to the vehicle and the tree.

Waymon Dekle, former city superintendent, says, "It's like losing part of an old friend. I've looked after that tree for years and years and years up until my retirement, and to come by and see this happen to it, you know, it just does something to you."

Members of the Thomasville Garden Club say this is the third time this year the big oak has been damaged, but this time two major limbs that used to form a canopy over Monroe Street are now on the ground.

Milli Faircloth, President of the Thomasville Garden Council, says, "In all the storms we've had, it's never bothered the tree."

Waymon Dekle, former city superintendent, adds, "It'll survive. It'll last; no telling how long, but I just hope it'll be here, you know, after I'm gone anyway."

Folks say they hope more precautions are taken to protect the historic tree for future generations. Thomasville police say the driver was given a citation, and that makes him liable for the damage to the big oak.