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Coleen Perilloux Landry | all galleries >> Galleries >> Live Oaks > The Saving Tree
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10 February 2007 Coleen Perilloux Landry

The Saving Tree

Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

Located just yards from the Gulf of Mexico these two ancient oaks stood their ground during Hurricane Katrina.
The live oak in the foreground saved three people and a dog as they clung to its sheltering branches for four hours in 140 mph winds and water from a 30 foot tidal surge. They were in a two story historical house when the tidal wave came in, breaking the house apart and throwing the people in the water.
The very sad part of this story is that the tree saved the people but the tree died because of carelessness on the part of man. In the months following Katrina tons of sand were brought in and piled on top of the roots of the "saving oak". The sand smothered the roots. I do not think the tree will survive.
As chairman of the National Live Oak Society I grieve for this valiant tree. The two oaks are about 200 years old and survived the 1969 killer hurricane, Camille, and many others before that.

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thatfarmgirl13-Feb-2007 01:07
So very tragic.
Guest 12-Feb-2007 20:34
That is a sad tale. Can't they remove the sand and bring in enhanced soil for nourishment?
petesie12-Feb-2007 17:53
I'm trying to figure out why???? I know there was a lot going on at that time, but how sad. I pray there is a way to save them, but I must admit, it doesn't look favorable. Glad you are trying.
Jola Dziubinska12-Feb-2007 15:32
Touching story, sad conclusion about humans' ignorance towards nature.
Make sure, Coleen, there is not a way to save this oak, now there are some very effective new methods of restoring old trees. Maybe there is a way?
J. Scott Coile12-Feb-2007 15:29
Surely they allowed this to happen in shear ignorance. I would think even the most disconnected to nature would appreciate the strong tree that gave them shelter from the storm. So sad!
s_barbour12-Feb-2007 15:01
This is such a sad tale Coleen, it truly gave it's life to save others.
Perhaps a new tree could be planted in memory of this one with a dedication sharing this wonderful tale.