"I am called the Friendship Oak. Those who enter my shadow will remain friends through all their lifetime."
The Friendship Oak tree is located on the front lawn of the Southern Miss Gulf Park campus in Long Beach, Mississippi. In the last decade, the historic Friendship Oak survived Hurricane Katrina, another in a long string of hurricanes that have challenged yet never defeated the 500+ year old live oak tree.
Friendship Oak Measurements
Current measurements show a 59-foot height; diameter of the trunk is 5 feet 9 inches; circumference of the trunk is 19 feet 9 1/2 inches; spread of foliage is 155 feet. The average length of the main lateral limbs is 60-66 feet from the trunk; average circumference of the limbs at the trunk is 7 1/2 feet; the tree forms almost 16,000 feet of shelter; and laterial roots go out 150 feet.
The tree was remeasured by the Mississippi Forestry Commission on Aug. 22, 2011.
On the beachfront of The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park Campus (formerly known as Gulf Park College for Women), overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, is a magnificent live oak tree 500-plus years old. The tree is loved by former students of Gulf Park College, revered by tree lovers, held in fond memory by those whose wedding ceremonies were conducted on the platform within its mighty branches, and viewed daily by tourists.
This is the Friendship Oak.
Friendship Oak keeps her majestic vigil on the Gulf of Mexico, a vigil that dates back to 1487. If asked about her length of stay on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, she might reply, "I was a sapling when Christopher Columbus sailed the Caribbean and I had begun to bear acorns when Ponce de Leon reached Florida in his quest for the Fountain of Youth. In 1587, the year Virginia Dare, the first Anglo-American child born at Roanoke Island, appeared, I had turned a hundred years old..."
Friendship Oak has seen the history of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and of America unfold.