Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Friendship Oak ...

One of the most awe-inspiring highlights of our recent trip to the Mississippi Gulf Coast was visiting the "Friendship Oak." This majestic live oak tree (located on the front lawn of the University of Southern Mississippi campus in Long Beach, Mississippi) is over 500 years old. To put that into perspective, the Friendship Oak was a sapling when Columbus set sail for the New World. If only it could talk! Can you imagine the stories it could tell?

According to legend, those who step into its shadows must "remain friends throughout their lifetime."

Standing 50 feet tall, the tree's trunk is 5 feet 9 inches
in diameter, and its foliage covers 156 feet!

The average length of the main lateral limbs is 60-66 feet
from the trunk and its lateral roots go out 150 feet.

Its enormous limbs are supported by heavy cables and rest on blocks.

An almost reverent feeling washed over me as I stood in the shadows of this magnificent tree, and I hope and pray it will continue to thrive for many years to come.

Here are some of the other old "survivors" of Katrina.


Rue said...

Beautiful tree!

I was born and raised in Arcadia, CA and lived in a place called The Oaks. We sadly lost one that was almost as old as this. When it fell it took down a large section of my mom's brick wall that surrounded our house. She cried when they told her they would have to cut it up.

I still love those old beautiful trees and I miss them, living here in Ohio.

Jill said...

I had tears in my eyes as I scrolled through your husband and I were stationed in Biloxi for 4 years. We lived in D'Iberville and we love the south! Doug went to college where that big oak lives. We had been gone from the area for about a year when Katrina hit. We haven't been back...we loved Hwy 90with all the old houses...I think I would be devastated to go and see it now. I have shopped in Bay St. Louis and remember those stores. Gosh what a surprise to stumble upon your blog this morning...lots of good memories!

Unknown said...

A few years ago my mother and I took a driving tour of the oaks along the Mississippi coast. To this day I remember the impression the trees left with me. I'm so happy to see the "survivors"! One of the trees on the tour was an old oak with a palm tree growing out of the top of it. The palm had been blown up there by a hurricane in the 1960s and continued to grow there twenty some years later. I hope those two trees "survived". Thanks for the pictures of the magnificent oaks.