Trees of the Pass
A Vignette — by Dan Ellis
On each Arbor Day, the Pass Christian Garden Club performs an observance by way of a "Planting" ceremony, or as in 1990 and '91, a Tree Tour.
Such ventures have continued to qualify the city for Tree City USA recognition.
To receive this national acknowledgment, a city must meet four standards: a Tree Board, a Tree ordinance, a comprehensive community Forestry Program and an Arbor Day Observance. Ms. Shirley Doe was very active with the Garden Club and the Tree Board in rewriting the City Ordinance, the Tree Commission by-laws and the 1991 Tour of Trees. Coral Trepagnier was also quite involved in leading a group to measure trees over 100 years old. They were able to register more than 100 such majestic oaks in the Pass excluding the older trees which were already registered.
The Pass Christian Tree Ordinance was originally passed in 1979. It regulates the removal, cutting, or damaging of Live Oak trees and Magnolia trees. The Ordinance controls such trees measuring a minimum of 18 inches in diameter or having a circumference of 57 inches at the height of 36 inches above ground. Penalties for non-compliance is a $500 fine — and/or 30 days in jail. Each time a tree is removed in the Pass, it must be replaced with the same type of tree.
Shirley Doe explained that Live Oaks grow rather fast when they are young but growth is slow as they age. In determining the age of Live Oaks, bore samplings do not render the needed accuracy. Instead, the tree must be measured for its circumference at between four to four and a half feet above ground level. That circumference measurement applied to a formula renders the age.
The largest Pass Christian Live Oak tree was situated behind the house now located at 516 E. 2nd Street at Lang Avenue. Unfortunately, it died of old age about 50 years ago. It was known as the King of Oaks in the South, even larger than the great Friendship Tree in Long Beach.
The Majestic Giants listed below have all been registered. Those with age listings were included in the 1991 Tour of Trees. The 13 trees along the walkway behind the Gazebo in War Memorial Park are named – but the plan to place tree plaques at each Live Oak never materialized, therefore no one knows which one is George and which one is Betsy, or Abraham, or . . .
War Memorial Park Group
George Washington Thomas Jefferson
John Adams James Monroe
James Madison Andrew Jackson
Betsy Ross Martin Van Buren
Booker T. Washington Benjamin Franklin
Jefferson Davis Zachary Taylor
Registered Trees throughout the City
Name Location Tree Age (as of 1990)
Legier/Keller Oak 710 St. Louis
Ross B. Guest Oak 710 St. Louis
Le Grande Chene 621 St. Louis
Parker/Butler Oak St. Louis at Cemetery
Council Oaks (2) Pass High - West 2nd 495
Harry Peneguy 234 W. 2nd 400+
Miramar Oak 242 W. 2nd 600
James Oak 248 W. 2nd 600
David's Group 252 W. 2nd 425
Northrop Group 275 W. 2nd 445
Lang Oak Scenic and Hiern 440
Courtenay Oaks 110 W Scenic
Slowe Oak 111 W Scenic
Jill Joe Oak 111 W Scenic
Mc Bride Oak 240 W. Scenic
Les Chene des Keel 218 E. 2nd
Spence Oak 252 E. 2nd
Roland Martin Oak 410 E. 2nd 450
Gentle Oak 420 E. 2nd 410
Shelter Oak 543 E. 2nd 600
Morris Group (7) 619 E. 2nd
Ascletius Group(7) 619 E. 2nd 358
Catherine Young 625 E. 2nd
Glenn Leigh Oak 625 E. 2nd 435
Rosebank-Doe Oak 642 E. 2nd
Onward Soldier E. 2nd and Hackett 400
William H Harrison E. 2nd off Menge
Bielenberg Oak 305 E. Scenic 250
Mexican Gulf Group 305 E. Scenic
Livingston Oak 533 E. Scenic 400+
Mullaly Group 541 E. Scenic
Donlin-Anderson 601 E. Scenic
McArthur/Frye Group 613 E. Scenic 460
Donna Oak 701 E. Scenic 490
Salatich 1 & 2 801 E. Scenic 470
Billups Oak 957 E. Scenic 425
Bell Magnolia 1580 E. 2nd 200+
Two Oaks 11 Wisteria
Donlin-Anderson Donlin and E. Beach 450
Cook Oak 4119 Menge 490
Mary Patricia Group 4442 Menge 660
Dedeaux Group Hampton/DeLisle Bayou 900
Windy Hill Oak 25258 Notre Dame 555
A 1915 photo of Beach Boulevard Pass Christian's shell road and trees.
The Mammoth Oak at Second and Seal streets.
The same Mammoth Oak showing its gerth with a man standing at its trunk and a rented horse and carriage taking shade.
The above large oak was cut down after the Mexican Gulf Hotel burned down in 1917 to provide commercial space at the corner of Davis and Beach Ave.