Picayune’s live oaks need protection

Published 9:08 am Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Picayune has a large number of live oaks scattered around town, some of which are showing signs of stress, even to the point of being near death.

The city and owners of the property on which the live oaks are located need to work together to protect and preserve the trees. At one time, the largest live oak in Mississippi was located in Pearl River County out towards Walkiah Bluff.

Picayune has a line of beautiful live oaks that runs along North Main Street. The history of those oaks is that they once bordered a pond built by E.F. Tate who also built a large mansion of stone that the pond fronted in about 1904.

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Unfortunately, the mansion and pond are gone, but the live oaks remain. The area under and around them should be cleaned up so the trees could better display their regal stature.

The railroad tracks run adjacent to the line of trees, and as anyone who has ridden a passenger train knows, one forms opinions about cities one passes through or by based on the beauty, or ugliness, seen from the passenger cars. Those trees could be an attractive exclamation point for Picayune, if they could be seen better and the area surrounding them was attractive.

Anyone who has visited other cities where live oaks are prevalent — and there aren’t many such cities — knows how the live oaks can add grace to a city where they spread their crowns.

Picayune is fortunate to be blessed by these regal trees and we need to do a better job of preserving them for all of us and displaying them for both residents and visitors.