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This IS the “TREE of LIFE” in HOPEDALE. Louisiana

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I have fished out of Hopedale, Louisiana, for many, many years. This is a SE Louisiana village of fisherman and sports anglers since its inception. What you see here in these pictures is a striking view of a lone tree in an endless field of marsh grass and water—standing out like an announcement of survival to all its viewers for endless miles around. I can’t tell you how long it has stood here. I can only tell you it has survived some of the worse hurricanes known to man, including hurricane Katrina. While the entire area seen waters over 20 feet above the streets, decimating the entire area of homes, boats, life and businesses--- the Tree of Life still stands unhampered, as if a miraculous hand is protecting it. The most unusual part about this tree--though not readily approachable unless you brave walking into wet marsh grass--is that it appears to have a distinct grass-like garden surrounding its base—you can see it if you look closely. One marina owner told me soon after hurricane Katrina when I inquired why his boat lift hoist was still not in operation after many months, he replied: “The electric motor was damaged by saltwater waves that drenched it. And I’m still waiting for parts.” This hoist is over 23 ft above the ground, underscoring the height of the tidal flood surge.

And the Tree of Life still stands tall
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...great post Jerry...reminds me of one at a small canal going into Grand Bayou behind Magnolia Plantation...it dated back before 1880...boy, if that tree could 'talk'...cheers
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   CaptJS
It’s not everyday a tree can celebrate its 600th birthday. On Tuesday, representatives of the state, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, the Louisiana Bicentennial Cypress Legacy and the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area did just that by honoring the estimated 600-year-old “Monarch of the Swamp” bald cypress tree with a plaque at the Barataria Preserve.
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Capt....wished I had seen that artical...my barber would have grabbed,matted and framed it...things like that galvanize his 'bald' customers...cheers

...they had one about 12 paces around in Pearl River were the train tracks turn North and cross old Honey Island Hi-Way 11...there is a trestle a mile North and it was about 100 yds West into the swamp...we seen it only once but never found it again...(too many weird sounds in there)...cheers
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   Salty_Dog
It's encouraging for some reason, great post, and thanks for sharing.
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   wdietz
That is cool, GOD must certainly have a hand in the survival of that tree. Beautiful, thanks for sharing!
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   Dr. Spot
I have a story about this tree that has the same 'metaphor.' Capt. Barry Brechtel took his young son fishing near BSM. His favorite spot was 'one tree.' I got nosy and emailed him what that meant. His email reply was a little vague. He said look for a spot that has only one tree. He loved to joke like that.

A short time later, Barry died in a car crash. We had lost a friend and a great fishermen, very sad. I hadn't experienced a shock like that in a long time and it really shook me up.

One day driving to the marina, my Father-in-law talked about Barry about what a loss it was, how the trout population would probably now double, and that he taken secrets like 'one tree' with him. Later that afternoon, on the way in after fishing, I looked in the distance, and suddenly stopped the boat. My Father-in-Law asked what was wrong. I pointed in the distance and said 'look!' There was the tree. It was like Barry was with us and wanted us to find it. We exchanged high fives. I don't even remember what we caught, and I think it didn't matter anymore.

Of course, I could just tell everyone where it is, but I'll save that fun discovery for others just like he did for me. Remember, its near BSM. Be sure to toast Capt. Barry when you see it.
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Cool story , history was always my favorite subject , I have seen that tree ----- here is another tree of life story , my Great Grandfather came from Yugoslavia right around 1900 , I think it was 1898 and settled in Empire/Buras , only thing was he didn't live in Buras for say as he lived at a camp only accessible by boat on Bayou Cook , he fished oyster with a sail and hand tongs as he didn't have an engine till years later , my Grandfather and his 12 brothers and sisters birth certificate's had Bayou Cook as there place of birth as they were all born on the water , Great grand father brought fig and persimmon trees from the old country and planted them on a ridge at Bayou Cook , and they are still there and alive today , no one in the family still owns the camp but as far as I know the camp is still standing and you can see it on google earth , last I heard my Great Aunt still owned the oyster leases and sub leased them out ------one day about 15 years ago I was drinking coffee and shooting bull with some guys I know and their friend tells a story of how he and others he knows goes and gets clippings of a tree out in the marsh of Buras and replants them , sure enough it was the Bayou Cook fig and persimmon trees
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That's some really good pictures of the tree too . Hearing about these old tree stories reminds me of the big live oaks on the north side of the strip in Biloxi . Every time I pass those trees I think about what they've gone through over time . They may be missing a few limbs but I guess their roots are deep and they're still going strong .
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   Tyhibbs8
Ha that's what we've called that tree for the past couple years we be been fishing there. Can't ever get lost as long as you can see the tree of life.
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What a wonderful story, it is like God standing in the middle of the marsh as evidenced by the opening of the clouds. Thanks for sharing this with us.
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   Curdog007
Did anybody say what kind of tree it is? Would like to take a few cuttings. Has to have some strong genes there.
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Since I was a child my pawpaw, dad, parrain, and I referred to it as The Lone Oak. Always passed it on our way to Lake Robin. Cool stuff.
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Where exactly is this???
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   Dr. Spot
Finding 'one tree' deserves to be a journey. But its not hard. I said it was near BSM. Another post said it was on the direct way to Lake Robin. That leaves one main route. Another hint: look west.
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   lanco1
Wow, it's amazing how much you can miss someone who was more an acquaintance then a friend, but I sure miss Barry. Fishing, politics, even hunting (he didn't hunt but he would talk ducks) he was always great to talk to! He put me on fish many days. And predicted a lot of the BS our country has seen the last 6 years (guess that wasn't too hard to foresee). I remember one night another guy from BSM who hunts with us needed help dragging a pig out. I got to the launch just as Barry was (somewhat reluctantly) going to help drag 200 pounds of pork. When I volunteered to go instead he was so happy he brought out a big platter of fried seafood for all of us to eat while we skinned hogs. Truly a good guy all around.
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Great report, hope the public can leave it alone.
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I know this is an old post but I hope they leave it alone too, but you know how mean and hateful people can be, now that the story is out! some people will do terrible things, thinking its really funny!! good luck to the ole tree of life!!!
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My intentions are to photograph it. Im a professional photographer and can promise you it aint in me to do that kinda stuff.
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   lanco1
It's easy to find. It's on private property so technically anyone approaching it is trespassing but that doesn't matter too much since it would likely be one heck of a hard walk to reach it. It can be photographed from the marsh either out of Hopedale or Reggio without crossing big water. It's an oak tree so no need for 'cuttings'.
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...they had one near Indian Mound near Stump Lagoon years ago...have not been there in years is this the one ? cheers
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   lanco1
There are 3 oaks between Magnolia and stump that are alive and well. But this isn't there.
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   Dr. Spot
The trees in back of Magnolia are actually on an old Indian Mound. So are the ones near Malo.
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I collect fig trees and would love to know more about the Bayou Cook fig trees. If anyone has gotten cuttings of these trees or could tell me ANYTHING about these trees I would be forever greatful. I have dozens of varieties to trade cuttings or could reward for this info. These trees are very important to me. Thanks guys!
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