(KVEO) — Researchers discovered an oak tree within Texas Big Bend National Park that was thought to have been extinct over 10 years ago.
A lone Quercus Tardifilia tree was discovered May 25 at the national park standing at 30 feet tall, according to a news release from The Morton Arboretum.
Though in poor condition, botanical researchers were thrilled to find the lone oak tree after the specimen was believed to have perished in 2011.
The tree was first described by scientists in the 1930s.
When discovered earlier this year, the trunk of the oak was scarred by fire and showed signs of severe fungal infection.
According to scientists, a drought or fire has the potential to end its life.
Scientists are now working with the National Park Service to reduce the immediate wildfire threat to the tree, and conservationists in this collaborative are moving quickly to return to search for acorns in an attempt to propagate.