Texas A&M Police Investigating Graffiti Carving On Century Tree

COLLEGE STATION, Texas Texas A&M's Century Tree is showing some new scars after someone carved initials and a heart into the iconic campus landmark.

It's a popular place for proposals and wedding photos, and was planted more than 130 years ago.

News 3 has reaction from students and why University Police have launched an investigation.

Texas A&M's Century Tree stretches towards the heavens and even grows along the ground right by the Academic Building.

But the more than 130-year-old tree is showing some fresh wounds after someone carved the letter C, a heart, and L into a big branch just above the bench and sidewalk.

"We just kind of came to see where it was and kind of what it looked like," said Senior Jacob Marsh.

Marsh and his girlfriend saw the fire storm of comments on Facebook and Twiiter and came by to see for themselves.

"It's a very meaningful area for many Aggies so it kind of degrades the whole purpose and tradition and vandalizes it a little bit," he said.

The live oak was one of the first trees planted on the Texas A&M campus. Tradition has it if a couple walks under its branches they will eventually get married.

Miriam Mooney is a third generation Aggie and hopes the tree carver gets caught.

"It's sad to see the traditions at A&M maybe haven't been taught the way that they used to be that someone thought this was ok to begin with and I certainly hope that we find out who did this," said Mooney.

Lt. Allan Baron with the Texas A&M University Police Department says the carving is considered graffiti and caused about $250 in damage.

"We are currently investigating. We are looking for information that anyone may have of the person or persons responsible for this graffiti," Baron said.

Crews have now put a black sealant on the bark to protect it from insects and moisture but signs of the damage remain and a tree expert says it could take 20 years for it to fade.

The person responsible faces misdemeanor charges and up to several months in jail if convicted.

University Police believe the carving happened over the weekend.

If you have any information on the case you can call Texas A&M University Police at (979) 845-2345.

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