Garden Club, Live Oak Society to register trees
By: Lisa Soileaux
Tree-lined driveways, country lanes and lawns throughout Acadiana are filled with beautiful live oak trees. The Rayne Garden Club is presently making an attempt to register those stately live oak trees with the Live Oak Society.
With almost 7,000 trees now registered with the Society in 14 states, only 82 from Acadia Parish and nine in Rayne are presently registered. The club is in the process of registering all the live oak trees in the Acadiana area with a girth of at least eight feet.
There is no fee to register the trees with the society, with members of the Rayne Garden Club providing all the paperwork for registration and partaking in the measurements.
The Live Oak Society was founded in 1934 by Dr. Edwin Stephens, the first president of Southwestern Louisiana Institute (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette).
The society promotes the culture, distribution, preservation and appreciation of the live oak tree, scientifically known as Quercus virginiana.
The Live Oak Society began with 43 members chosen by Stephens and now boasts 6,898 members in 14 states, and is under the auspices of the Louisiana Garden Club Federation, Inc.
The first president (tree) was the “Locke Breaux Oak” in Taft, which was lost in 1968 due to air and ground water pollution.
Its successor and current president is the “Seven Sisters Oak,” formerly know as “Doby’s Seven Sisters.” The owner who first named the tree was Carole Hendry Doby, one of seven sisters. The “Seven Sisters Oak” is located in the Lewisburg area of Mandeville on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain. Estimated by foresters to be 1,200 years old, the tree has a girth of over 38 feet. This oak is also the National Champion on the National Register of Big Trees.
The first vice-president of the “Middletone Oak” in Charleston, SC, with a girth of 31 feet.
The second vice-president is the “St. John Cathedral Oak” in Lafayette, measuring 27 feet.
The “Lagarde Oak” in Luling is third vice-president and measures 29 feet.
The “Martha Washington Live Oak” in Audubon Park in New Orleans is fourth vice-president and measures 28 feet in girth.
The largest registered stand of 249 live oaks is located in City Park of New Orleans.
As you can see, Louisiana is well represented with the Live Oak Society, but the Rayne Garden Club would like Acadiana’s live oaks to be represented, as well.
Please contact the club at (337) 581-4034 for a Garden Club member to measure and register your live oak tree(s) with the society. Contact person who is assisting the club with this project is Calise Breaux.
Don’t be surprised with a knock on the door by a Garden Club member to register your beautiful oak tree into the Live Oak Society. Consider it a privilege to have your tree registered.