Oak Alley Plantation, LA   tuce-@msn.com
  Jul 31, 2007 13:05 PDT 


Several weeks ago I contacted the Administrator at Oak Alley Plantation,
in South Central La., communicating about the Live Oak Project. After
permission to measure the Oaks, we set a date the 30th Aug. I arrived
Monday at 1000 AM, after a 2& Half drive through N.O. morning
traffic (YUK). The Plantation is about 40 miles West of the city, near
the town of Valcherie. Located on the Ms. River.                         
                                    Oak Alley was built in 1837 and
still has that Old Southern Charm feel about her. The River Side of the
House has 28 Live Oaks, 14 on each side forming a fabulous Gateway to
the River, almost magical. The Oaks where planted by a French Settler
around 1710, making these trees somewhere around 300 years old.          
                     I spent about 4 hours measuring and photographing
the Oaks in extreme humid conditions, glad I'm used to the heat! The
trees averaged, CBH-27'+, Height-70'+ and Spread-130+! It was Fantastic,
28 of the Largest Live Oaks I'd ever seen! Bob, a sight to behold! I've
got some great photos, and will send them to Ed. Neil, we have
documentation of these trees being 300 years old! I'll report on the
measurements tomorrow. We can get a great growth rate from these


Oak Alley Plantation   tuce-@msn.com
  Aug 01, 2007 11:31 PDT 

The seven Live Oaks I measured at Oak Alley.                     

#1. Josephine A. Stewart Oak, CBH-31'2", Height-71' and Spread-150'. 

image002a.jpg (102494 bytes) image001a.jpg (88044 bytes)

#2. Valcor Aime Oak, 29'4", Height-74' and Spread-132'.  

image004a.jpg (86796 bytes) image003a.jpg (79947 bytes)

#3. Zeb Mayhew Jr. Oak, CBH-29'2", Height-75' and Spread-130.5'.   

image001c.jpg (88074 bytes)

#4. Andrew Stewart Oak, CBH-29', Height-71' and Spread-145.5'.    

image005b.jpg (72027 bytes) image006b.jpg (96099 bytes)

#5. Jacques T. Roman Oak, CBH-27'3", Height-71' and Spread-125'.     

image001b.jpg (93235 bytes) image002b.jpg (93005 bytes)

#6. Overseer's Cottage Oak, CBH-26', Height-51' and Spread-130'.     

image003c.jpg (88822 bytes) image004c.jpg (52623 bytes)

#7. Celina P. Roman Oak, CBH-25', Height-69' and Spread-135.     

image002c.jpg (90507 bytes)

 The Plantation Link is http://www.oakalleyplantation.com/            


Oak Alley Plantation-Back to Larry   Robert Leverett
  Aug 06, 2007 07:01 PDT 


   It is clear to me that what we rarely see here in the Northeast, a
20-foot circumference tree, is old hat for the Live Oak. But 30-footers
is the stuff of legends and now you are finding more and more. We all
changed our perception of the species after BVP, Will, and team climbed
and modeled the Middleton Live Oak, but it was easy then to think of the
Middleton and Angel Oaks as very exceptional. However, after what you
have revealed to us, I'll never think of Live Oak the same way again.
I'd heretofore seen the species as a charismatic, oddly shaped tree,
adorned with Spanish moss, and somewhat symbolic of the old South -
certainly of plantations. But, I was clueless to how often it reached
significant size. I assumed that there would be lots of 15-20-footers
and a few over, but nowhere close to the numbers you are verifying.

    For me, the Live Oak has become a species with an ENTS story to
tell. What was the role of Live Oak in pre-settlement forests? When and
under what circumstances does it start those magnificent spreads? What
is its wild life value? What has its wood historically been used for?
Where does it do its best? What are the characteristics of its wood? I
know Live Oak wood is heavy, and I understand very strong, but those are
qualitative descriptions? We need quantification. I've seen widely
varying numbers for its density.

   I have plenty of tree books that give superficial descriptions of the
Live Oak, but the best I remember is Donald Culross Peattie's elegant
description. I'll dig that one up and relate tidbits about the Live Oak
in a future e-mail.

   Once again, Larry, we are in your debt. As soon as Monica retires
next June, we hope to begin traveling in earnest. We definitely want to
get down to see both you and Will Fell.

Back to Bob   tuce-@msn.com
  Aug 06, 2007 07:41 PDT 

Thanks Bob for the encouragement. I also wondered how large and how old
the Live Oak can become. From what I've been doing I think 300 to 400
years would be the maximum age of Live Oaks that we are seeing today.
Before the Europeans, who knows? 600,700 years, 40' Circumference? We
may never know for sure how large or old they really can become!   
Live Oak Growth Rates   tuce-@msn.com
  Aug 17, 2007 07:54 PDT 


The Josephine Stewart Oak located at Oak Alley Plantation in Louisana,
measures 31'2". Planted by a French settler around 1720-1730. The annual
radial growth rate for this tree equals about .212 inches per year in
the 280 period. Which closely follows the other Live Oaks I've been
doing for the past year or so. I have made arrangements to return in the
fall and do a listing of all 28 Oaks. Somebody send us some cool temp.
down we've had enough heat this summer I'm ready for fall, how about

I have 5 different examples of Live Oak growth rates during a specified
time period. The average radial growth rate results are .237 from the
existing 5 CBH'S and years growing. Ed I will send you a listing with
photos. Larry.