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LSUA to Rededicate Cotton Oak, Plant 38 Trees on Arbor Day

Released: 01/14/2011

A rededication of the Cotton Oak and the planting of 38 trees will highlight the annual Arbor Day observance at LSU Alexandria at noon on Jan. 20. The public is invited.

The Cotton Oak, named in honor of the late William F. Cotton Sr., is registered with the Live Oak Society. The massive tree measures about 14 feet in circumference with a spread of approximately 100 feet. It is among the oldest of the estimated 250-year-old trees that were part of Oakland Plantation, the site on which LSUA is built.

Cotton was instrumental in the late 1950s in persuading key state officials to place a public university in Alexandria. Ten years ago, when he was more than 100 years old, Cotton traveled to Baton Rouge to speak to legislative committees in support of LSUA’s bid to grant baccalaureate degrees. He also established an endowed scholarship and financially supported the university in other areas.

Thirty-eight trees will be planted this year, including 10 eastern red cedars. Other species are raintree, weeping willow, swamp red maple, willow oak, black gum, cypress and winged elm.

LSUA has been designated a Tree Campus USA university by the Arbor Day Foundation for its work in planting and preserving trees.