400-year-old oak tree will remain

July 23, 2008 1:21:13 PM PDT
A 400-year-old oak tree that helped inspire one of acclaimed author Ernest Gaines' books will not be cut down. A limb weighing more than a ton fell off the tree on July 4, causing worries that it would have to be destroyed. But the tree was found to be healthy when Tom Campbell, of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, examined it on Monday.

Campbell says the limb that fell had a specific defect that the oak's other limbs do not have. He says there are some dead limbs that should be removed, however.

The tree, found in Pointe Coupee Parish northwest of Baton Rouge, is called the Miss Jane Pittman Oak by many people because Gaines drew inspiration for parts of the book "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" while sitting under the tree.

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