Alley Plantation, LA
31, 2007 13:05 PDT
Several weeks ago I contacted the Administrator at Oak Alley
in South Central La., communicating about the Live Oak Project.
permission to measure the Oaks, we set a date the 30th Aug. I
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,
the town of Valcherie. Located on the Ms. River.
Alley was built in 1837 and
still has that Old Southern Charm feel about her. The River Side
House has 28 Live Oaks, 14 on each side forming a fabulous
the River, almost magical. The Oaks where planted by a French
around 1710, making these trees somewhere around 300 years old.
spent about 4 hours measuring and photographing
the Oaks in extreme humid conditions, glad I'm used to the heat!
trees averaged, CBH-27'+, Height-70'+ and Spread-130+! It was
28 of the Largest Live Oaks I'd ever seen! Bob, a sight to
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
measurements tomorrow. We can get a great growth rate from these
01, 2007 11:31 PDT
The seven Live Oaks I measured at Oak Alley.
Josephine A. Stewart Oak, CBH-31'2", Height-71' and
Aime Oak, 29'4", Height-74' and Spread-132'.
Mayhew Jr. Oak, CBH-29'2", Height-75' and Spread-130.5'.
Stewart Oak, CBH-29', Height-71' and Spread-145.5'.
T. Roman Oak, CBH-27'3", Height-71' and Spread-125'.
Overseer's Cottage Oak, CBH-26', Height-51' and Spread-130'.
P. Roman Oak, CBH-25', Height-69' and Spread-135.
Plantation Link is http://www.oakalleyplantation.com/
Alley Plantation-Back to Larry
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
is the stuff of legends and now you are finding more and more.
changed our perception of the species after BVP, Will, and team
and modeled the Middleton Live Oak, but it was easy then to
think of the
Middleton and Angel Oaks as very exceptional. However, after
have revealed to us, I'll never think of Live Oak the same way
I'd heretofore seen the species as a charismatic, oddly shaped
adorned with Spanish moss, and somewhat symbolic of the old
certainly of plantations. But, I was clueless to how often it
significant size. I assumed that there would be lots of
and a few over, but nowhere close to the numbers you are
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?
under what circumstances does it start those magnificent
is its wild life value? What has its wood historically been used
Where does it do its best? What are the characteristics of its
know Live Oak wood is heavy, and I understand very strong, but
qualitative descriptions? We need quantification. I've seen
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
description. I'll dig that one up and relate tidbits about the
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
get down to see both you and Will Fell.
06, 2007 07:41 PDT
Thanks Bob for the encouragement. I also wondered how large and
the Live Oak can become. From what I've been doing I think 300
years would be the maximum age of Live Oaks that we are seeing
Before the Europeans, who knows? 600,700 years, 40'
may never know for sure how large or old they really can become!
Oak Growth Rates
17, 2007 07:54 PDT
Josephine Stewart Oak located at Oak Alley Plantation in
measures 31'2". Planted by a French settler around
1720-1730. The annual
radial growth rate for this tree equals about .212 inches per
the 280 period. Which closely follows the other Live Oaks I've
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
down we've had enough heat this summer I'm ready for fall, how
I have 5
different examples of Live Oak growth rates during a specified
time period. The average radial growth rate results are .237
existing 5 CBH'S and years growing. Ed I will send you a listing