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On a recent morning in New Orleans, cooler air moving from the North encountered the damp moist air of the Gulf, which created a wonderous fog. It encircled the massive live oaks of Audubon Park like a veil. It's easy to see why fog plays such a symbolic role in literature, for only the nearby is clear and in focus, while the distance is completely obscured. So, it is in life; we can see clearly the present, but the future is unknown.
One Live Oak is especially notable, the Etienne de Bore Oak. Locally, in the neighborhoods surrounding Audubon Park, this oak has been dubbed The Tree of Life, though its registered name with the Live Oak Society is the Etienne de Bore Oak. It's an enormous oak with a girth of approximately 35 feet and a crown of more than 160 feet located in Audubon Park in an old-growth oak grove on the downriver side of Audubon Zoo. It was No. 13 on Edwin Lewis Stephens' list of 34 original inductee trees when he founded the Live Oak Society in 1934. The tree's namesake, Jean Etienne de Bore, is most significant in Louisiana history for being the first French planter to successfully granulate sugar cane into sugar, paving the way for sugar cane to become the main crop, surpassing indigo and tobacco, in antebellum Louisiana. De Bore also served as the first mayor of New Orleans; he was appointed to the position by Gov. William C.C. Claiborne in 1803, the same year Louisiana was transferred from Spain to France. However, he resigned the position in 1804, after New Orleans became an American colony through the Louisiana Purchase.
January 23rd, 2013
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