This June marks the 10-year anniversary of the relocation of the historic Ghirardi Compton Oak Tree. This tree is now over 100 years old and is currently thriving in its new home thanks to the immense care of City staff and residents. Recently, a new sign was placed in front of the tree, which tells its story. You can see the new sign and tree at the Ghirardi Watersmart park.
Ten years ago, a road-widening project required the century-old Ghirardi Compton Oak tree to be removed from its home on the Ghirardi family property at the corner of FM 518 and Louisiana Avenue. Rather than cut down the tree, City leaders and residents agreed that it was an important piece of League City history and worth preserving. The tree was carefully moved 1,500 feet down the road to the Ghirardi Family WaterSmart Park, 1910 Louisiana Ave.
Who was the Ghirardi family?
For more than 100 years, the Ghirardi Compton oak tree grew on the property of one of League City’s first Italian immigrant families—the Ghirardi family. Giovanni and Marie Ghirardi came to Texas in 1892 from Cercenasco—a village in the Piedmont region of northern Italy. Marie’s tragic death in 1905 prompted the oldest of the Ghirardi children to get a job working on a farm. Eleven-year-old Sebastian Ghirardi worked for Mitsutaro Kobayashi—one of the area’s first Japanese immigrants and a farmer of Satsuma oranges and vegetables.
Putting Down Roots
By 1918, Sebastian had saved enough money to purchase land and build a new home for his family. The Ghirardis thrived at their new property. They spent decades farming fruits and vegetables, strengthening the local economy. League City’s Italian families are credited with helping transform the area from a ranching community to a farming community.
Ghirardi Tree Stats
-135-inch trunk circumference