Everyone here has some connection to Texas A&M. Some are former students, others staff and faculty. Some people have just grown to love the university just because they live near it.Aggie Roots
(Reprinted with permission from the Bryan-College Station Eagle)
One man’s lifelong association with Texas A&M has led him to help others keep the Aggie Spirit with them in a unique way.
Tim Walton, Class of ‘90, has roots in Texas A&M, and not simply through being a student. Walton, owner of Sand Creek Tree Farm, personally collects acorns from the oak trees on campus, plants and raises them, then offers them to Aggies all over the country.
His program, Aggie Roots, is an official collegiate licensed product by Texas A&M, and a Texas grown product by the Texas Department of Agriculture.
“This is the first and only living thing licensed by Texas A&M. Since A&M receives royalties, I feel like this is my way of giving back to the university,” said Walton. Not only does the school get something back, individual clubs sell Walton’s trees as fundraisers and receive a percentage of the profits. Walton’s grandfather was the inspiration behind the program.
“My grandfather used to manage the trees on campus. He passed away right around the time I was thinking about doing this. He loved those trees, and so do I,” said Walton.
When Walton started the program, he began with a few of the trees around the Administration Building. Since then, he has collected acorns from the Bonfire oak and even the Century oak.
Each tree Walton sells comes with a certificate of authenticity. Future plans hope to include a metal tag, which can be chained around the tree and has a picture of the parent tree on it. Since his program began, Walton has shipped trees all over the nation, including California and North Carolina. He has gotten requests from Maine to Oregon. Aggie Roots has become a popular program, but unfortunately not everyone can have a piece of Aggieland in their yard.
“I try to talk people into trees that can take the climate they’re in. I’m cultivating more trees that will be able to better stand colder climates. Walton loves Aggie Roots, not only because a tree gets planted, but also because of what the trees represent.
“A&M is rich in tradition and history. These trees let you take a piece of that with you,” said Walton.
Aggie Roots trees can be found at Sand Creek Tree Farm. For more information on the program, visit www.aggroots.com.
This article appeared in the May-June 2000 issue of Lawn and Garden Update, edited by Dr. Douglas F. Welsh, and produced by Extension Horticulture, Texas Agricultural Extension Service, The Texas A&M University System, College Station, Texas.