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Live Oaks

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
     Abraham Lincoln

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
DeLisle Area
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.

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