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As of Thursday, July 27, 2023, Southdown Plantation’s 250 year old oak tree has been officially removed.
The oak was deemed unsavable following irreparable damage after being stuck by lighting. The tree is estimated to be over two centuries and has been standing since before the plantation house itself.
“We are so saddened to lose this historical live oak,” said Southdown Plantation Director Celeste Landry. “For years people have been coming to take pictures with this tree and even hold marriage ceremonies underneath its branches. It will definitely be an eyesore and a huge loss when it is gone.” The damage sustained by the live oak was determined to be irreparable by experts, with a staggering cost of 10,000-12,000 dollars to cut down due to its size and strength. “We are a non-profit, which means that we subsist on donations,” explained Landry. “We are unable to afford this price to cut the tree down on our own, so we are calling on the community to help us. Any donations will make a huge difference for us.”
Those in charge of Southdown Plantation already have a vision for how to help honor the natural landmark. “We are going to plant a new live oak in its place as soon as we can,” said Landry. “We want to do something special to honor the memory of the beautiful part of the Plantation that we lost. Southdown Plantation is not just about the legacy of the pink house, it is about the history of Terrebonne Parish as a whole.”
Southdown Plantation will be reopening in September of 2023 following damage from Hurricane Ida. Read more about the reopening here. If you are interested in donating to Southdown Plantation to help them remove the damaged tree and replant a new one in its memory, donations can be accepted via phone (985) 851-0154 or by check. Checks may be dropped of or mailed to 1208 Museum Drive, Houma, Louisiana; made out to Terrebonne Historical and Culture Society. Be sure to specify on the check or phone where you wish for your money to go– the tree, the grounds, etc. Every bit helps!