This blog chronicles my search to document the 100 oldest and notable live oak trees in Louisiana. The elder oaks included in this project are primarily “centenarians” – more than 100 years old. Their sizes range from approximately 17 ft. to 40 ft. in circumference and their lives span a time period stretching between 100 to 600+ years, over several human generations. The oldest oaks documented here were possibly mature trees before Europeans settled Louisiana in the early 1700s.
This project began with a search for the original 43 live oaks that in 1934 became charter members of the Live Oak Society when it was first proposed by Dr. Edwin L. Stephens in an article he wrote for the Louisiana Conservation Review. From my original search, I found that almost 20% of these 43 member trees had been lost in the 80 or so years since the Society was founded — mostly due to urban expansion, development, storms and old age.
The ultimate goal of this effort is to raise awareness for the importance of conservation and preservation of historic live oak trees as an important cultural and historic resource – most areas of Louisiana and the South don’t have laws protecting these gentle icons of Southern culture from removal or abuse by humans.