MIDWEST CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – If you live in Oklahoma City or have visited the Oklahoma City National Memorial downtown, you know the Survivor Tree.
The giant elm was just outside the Alfred P. Murrah Building and survived the blast on April 19th, 1995.
It, and its saplings, live on as a symbol of resilience and hope.
One metro woman’s descendant of the tree is proof of just that.
“The last homeowner who owned this home,” said Midwest City resident, Breggitta Evans. “The last thing she said to me was to take care of my tree.”
Since the day Evans bought her home 11 years ago, she’s worked hard to fulfill that wish.
“I tried to keep it groomed and put flowers around it and did the best I could for her,” Evans said.
The Survivor Tree sapling, planted in honor of the previous owner’s uncle who died in the bombing, has weathered many storms.
“I have climbed up and cut limbs off of it and each time you cut it, it just grows from where that limb was taken and it just grows,” said Evans.
It’s been with the family through great memories, like one of the biggest days of her son’s life.
“He was blessed with a kidney October 5th, 2020 and the day that he got the phone call, he and his daughter were sitting under the tree,” Evans said.
But it hasn’t been without problems.
The roots have spread throughout her property.
“I had to get my sewage replaced all the way to the back,” said Evans. “It’s a beautiful tree but each time we cut it, it keeps growing toward the house.”
With the foundation of her home threatened, Evans called the previous owner, letting her know the tree would have to come down but also offering what’s left of it, including branches that continue to sprout.
The survivor tree continues to live up to its name.
“It was a blessing to my family for the shade, a lot of memories,” Evans said. “We’re going to miss it.”
She’s going to use the wood to create keepsakes, like a tic tac toe game for her grandchildren and give away the rest.