Hurricane Downs Old Hallsville Oak

A Hallsville family is mourning the loss of a massive old oak tree that was felled by the remnants of "Rita". There's sadness for the Sypert family as the remnants of "Rita" blew down a massive oak tree that had become a family fixture for generations for more than 150 years.

"I cried, I cried because it was like losing a very dear friend, very sad very devastating" says Narcie Sypert.

Five generations of Syperts grew up enjoying the shade of the old oak.

"Its kind of like some people get attached to dogs and things well i was attached to this tree, cause i played under it all my growing up days" says 77 year old Clarence Sypert.

The forestry service told them the tree was more than 300 years old, and it was the 2nd largest oak in Texas. It was around for the birth of a nation, the birth of Texas, wars, depressions, but through it all, it became much more to the Syperts.

"My kids slept out here one of them fell off a limb and broke an arm, they slept out here in the summer time because it was hot in the house and no air conditioners so they had a bed out here under the tree" says Narcie.

The Sypert family is planning on having part of the tree made into a bench or table as a way to save it for their future generations. 

Bob Hallmark, reporting.