A mossy, weathered chicken coop sits under the 132-foot canopy of a tree that has become known as The Blanchet Oak.
The girthy live oak, now officially recorded as the second-largest in Acadiana, sits broadly on acreage owned by the Lambert family in an area that is best kept secret to protect the tree.
“It’s mystical when it’s green,” said Carol Ann Lambert, owner of the property, the tree and a number of others that she says hold decades of memories for her family.
“The trees have changed radically compared to when I look back at pictures. The foliage was much more sparse,” she said.
The oak is now recorded among other impressive trees found in Acadiana and others across the South. Members of TreesAcadiana, a nonprofit that works to plant and conserve trees, measured the oak Tuesday.
The question was whether it would surpass the J I Boudreaux Friendship Oak, the reigning champion of Acadiana oaks. In 2010, the Friendship Oak came in at 31 feet and 7 inches in circumference. Today, it measures 32 feet and 2 inches.
The Blanchet Oak, named for the former property owners, came in at 30 feet and 5 inches in circumference, TreesAcadiana member Theresa Rohloff said.
That tree likely was growing before there were French settlers in south Louisiana, Rohloff said.
Although the tree’s circumference didn’t top the Friendship Oak, it was enough to record it as the second-largest tree among those registered in the region by the Live Oak Society. The society and its registry were created in 1934 by Dr. Edwin Stephens, the first president of Southwestern Louisiana Institute, now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Stephens created the group to promote the “culture, distribution, preservation and appreciation of the live oak tree.” On Jan. 1, 1901, he planted 18 trees near the UL campus entrance, which now shade the grounds of Girard Hall and lining the corner of Johnston Street and East University Avenue.
The 10 trees remaining in that grove, called the Century Oaks, are some of the 43 original registered members of the Live Oak Society. Other members include the trees near the alumni center.
Not just any tree makes it on the list of the more than 8,000 registered with the Live Oak Society across 14 states. A live oak must have a girth of at least eight feet to be considered. Those greater than 16 feet are classified as at least 100 years old.
Stephens inspired others to plant oaks around the campus, with more than 100 on UL’s property. Rusty Chastant, a TreesAcadiana member, has a goal of registering every one of those oaks.
The number of oaks on campus is difficult to estimate because of the canopy overlap, according to Jim “Tree Guy” Foret, a UL geoscience professor and licensed arborist.
There are numerous live oaks more than 100 years old just waiting to be named across Acadiana, Chastant said. Since joining TreesAcadiana, he’s registered seven trees on his property and he hopes others will, too.
“A lot of people don’t realize they have oaks they can register,” he said. “Sometimes it can double property value. It also helps the cause.”
The Lambert’s property had three junior oaks and three more centenarians oaks in addition to the Blanchet Oak. The Lambert Oak Trio consisted of a 21-foot-8-inch oak with a 114-foot canopy, a 20-foot-2-inch oak with a 128-foot canopy, and a 21-foot-4.5-inch oak with a 112-foot canopy.
A tour map of the impressive oaks in Acadiana is on Rohloff’s list of to-do’s for TreesAcadiana, as well as creating a tree ordinance.
The only case in Lafayette of someone working around a tree was at Madeline Street and North University Avenue. The oak in front of EZ Laundry sits proudly, and directly, in front of the store.
With the new Lafayette government administration taking office next year comes change, the groups’ members hope, along with working with zoning departments, codes departments and developers.
“Not the kind of ordinance where no one can cut down a tree,” Begneaud said. “But realistically someone has to have some accountability for these trees. That’s all we have.
“All you see over here is Coca-Cola banners between telephone poles,” he said.
“And cement and asphalt and sun,” Rohloff said.
Contact Victoria Dodge at email@example.com or on Twitter @Victoria_Dodge
Trees are the LUNGS of the earth !
There are 4.2 Billion acres of treeless land globally (an area the size of the United States and China combined) that could be planted in trees. If we planted 1.2 trillion native trees globally we would make a HUGE dent in the earths Carbon overload ! India planted 50 million trees in ONE DAY !
My how wonderful – the workings of our Natural World !
Some of those magnificent trees restoring oxygen over hundreds of years in Acadiana are on TreesAcadiana’s Top Ten Live Oaks List. We are revisiting and remeasuring them One Month at a Time. Look for our findings. We hope to set up a driving tour event of them all for Fall 2020.
Trees Acadiana is connected with Partners in Preservation that are sharing in an HDR Grant received by Bayou Vermilion Preservation Association (BVPA). We will be Reviving 3 Resilient Urban Landscapes (one being Arbor Day at Acadiana Park). Two others to be announced soon. And 5 Bank Stabilization projects one in Lafayette Parish, Iberia Parish, St. Martin Parish, St. Landry Parish and Vermilion Parish.
Stay Tuned to TreesAcadiana.org, Like us on FaceBook TreesAcadiana
Next Meeting August 27, 2019 (always 4th Tuesday)
5:30 P.M. @ The Historic Map House 1020 Auburn Ave.
Come Join Us]]>
Over time, these trees would capture more than 800 billion tons of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, according to a study published in the journal Science. That adds up to about 25 years’ worth of carbon pollution.
“The nice thing about this solution is it’s really low-tech,” says Thomas Crowther, a co-author of the study and climate change ecologist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. “It doesn’t need a politician to make a decision, and it doesn’t need a scientist to come up with some new invention. All it needs is all of us getting involved.”
According to the study, there’s a lot of space on the planet to plant new trees, particularly in Russia, the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil and China.
Crowther doesn’t discount the role of cutting emissions in fighting climate change — that still needs to happen, he says. But in terms of capturing the carbon dioxide already choking the atmosphere, he tells Here & Now’s Robin Young that trees are already doing that job “fantastically.”
“Now, I’m not trying to discourage all of the brilliant technological advances, but we’ve already got [a] huge amount of space available for trees,” Crowther says, “and if we can restore trees on those lands — 0.9 billion hectares is available for us to restore trees — and if we restored them and they grew to full mature forests, they would capture a major chunk of that excess carbon that is in the atmosphere and really help us in that fight against climate change.”
But is this too good to be true? Crowther admits it might sound that way.
“It’s like the hippie solution: plant a tree, save the world,” he says. “But the amazing thing is now we’ve got the signs to back it up. It really is this unbelievably powerful tool.”
On why trees are the answer to fighting climate change
“Humans have been burning fossil fuels, which has released a lot of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which is causing the greenhouse gas effect and it’s warming our planet. But the nice thing is, trees, as we know, photosynthesize. That means they capture carbon from the atmosphere and suck it down into their trunks and in the roots, and then they even pump it into the soil. So we’ve always known that they have the potential to be our allies in this battle.”
On why this solution won’t work if carbon emissions aren’t cut simultaneously
“That is such an important point: We have to cut emissions. But at the moment, we’ve still got loads and loads of carbon that’s already accumulated in the atmosphere and so trees could be a really powerful [way] to capture that existing carbon in combination with those cuts to emissions.”
On where new trees could be planted
“It’s amazing. We thought it would be focused in certain parts of the world. But what’s amazing is these degraded ecosystems, these places where trees should naturally be, are distributed all over the world. So every country can really play its part. Now, I would stress that the best countries are often in the tropics, because those are places that trees grow really quickly and they suck up the most carbon. But really, we can all play a part in this — whether it’s governments or just us.
“Of course, we have to have, first, urban land for humans to live, and second, agricultural land to support our growing population. And that’s why we made sure that we focused on areas that we are not using. We excluded those urban and agricultural areas.”
On his message to critics of the study
“So, as with every story, there’s always … the bigger the story, the bigger the naysayers. And so of course there’s gonna be people who like other solutions, and that’s great. That’s the part of it — we want every climate change solution. We want to encourage everyone to do whatever they want, and all we’re saying is that for any of those people who are interested in having that tangible impact, there’s something that all of us can get involved with and it’s a really nice, simple way to get connected to nature as well.”
Jill Ryan produced and edited this interview for broadcast with Todd Mundt. Samantha Raphelson adapted it for the web.
This segment aired on July 11, 2019.]]>
Calling all tree lovers to come and join us for a morning of shoveling, friendship and fun as we plant an assortment of trees donated by Apache Oil Corporation.
Join us Saturday January 19th, for a morning of planting at Acadian Village, 200 Green leaf Drive, Lafayette, La. 70506, South Lafayette parish. Planting will start at 9 AM. Everyone is welcome. Looking for families, children, high school and college students to spend the morning putting trees while learning about how to plant and care for trees. Please bring shovels, gloves, water, and your best tree planting spirit.
Click this link to keep up with us on Facebook.]]>
Eagle Scout candidates Ethan Campbell and Holden Landry presented their Eagle Projects to TreesAcadiana. Ethan will be planting a variety of oaks and cypress trees on the Bayou Teche in Downtown St. Martinsville. Holden will be planting citrus trees and oaks and cypress around the Lake and along Bayou Vermilion at Beaver Park Boat Landing.
Help us, help them keep Acadiana treed. With your donations Ethan and Holden can fulfill their goal in helping beautify Acadiana for years to come.
Donations can be made through our website or by mail. Please make note you are donating for our Boy Scout Planting Fund. If dontaing by check, mailed to:
Mr. Harold Schoeffler, Treasurer
3502 E. Simcoe St.
Lafayette, LA 70501
Funds donated by the Public for these two plantings will be greatly appreciated.]]>
We look forward to seeing you there.
Pack and Paddle, 601 East Pinhook Road, Lafayette, LA 70501.
On Saturday, February 3, we will be planting at Graham Brown Memorial Park, located at 1234 E Pont de Moutons Road. Last year we planted trees in the median on E Pont de Moutons Road. This year we will be planting next to the walking path and the dog park. We will begin at 9 AM, and again, please bring shovels, gloves, water, and your zest for greening Acadiana. Everyone is invited to join the fun, grab a shovel, rake or water bottle and join us.]]>
Saturday, January 20
Planting at Acadian Village (https://www.acadianvillage.org)/ located at 200 Greenleaf Drive 9 A.M. Southern Lafayette parish.
Enter LARC from (Johnston St. south to Ridge Rd., left onto Rue de Bilier, and right at the LARC sign)
Park near the barn right as you enter and walk down the road through the picket fence a short way to where we will be planting. Everyone is welcome. Bring shovels, gloves, water and “your best tree planting spirit”
For more information or questions, contact Sarah Schoeffler and Heather Warner-Finley (337) 288-0426.
Saturday 27 January, 9 A.M.
Planting at Graham Brown Memorial Park located at 1234 E Pont de Moutons Road. (Last year we planted trees in the median on E. Pont de Moutons Road. This year we will be planting next to the walking path and the dog park)
Bring your sharpened shovels, gloves, water and “your zest for greening Acadiana.”
We hope to see you all. —TreesAcadiana]]>
January to September 2017
We potted: 800 tree seedlings to give away at Festival Acadian et Creole, Festival International, Master Gardener Plant Fest and to anyone who wants to come by BVD Bayou Operations Green House.
We gave away: 650 seedlings
Fall is the time to think about planting trees. Most of the trees are purchased by TreesAcadiana, while some are donated for our use by generous supporters.
Trees are a source of beauty, protection from storms and summer heat. They provide habitat for wild life, birds and insects. They clean our air and slow down flood waters headed to the bayous and coulees
Renew your commitment to TreesAcadiana by renewing your membership or becoming a new member today!
How to register or renew your membership?
Visit our home page for electronic payment through Paypal. *No account necessary to pay by credit card.
Or mail your check and info (Your Name, Email and Address) to:
Treasurer Harold Schoeffler
3502 E. Simcoe St.
Lafayette, LA 70501
We thank you for your support!!]]>
According to Dennis Sullivan President of Trees Acadiana, branches were broken off newly planted trees.
Volunteers say they’re working on moving forward after what they call a “comfortable place to rest amidst the hustle of daily life” was disturbed by vandalism.