Damaged limb to be removed from USM's Friendship Oak

Damaged limb to be removed from USM's Friendship Oak

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - After remaining undefeated for more than 500 years, a damaged portion of the Friendship Oak at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park campus is scheduled to be removed.

In August, one of the main limbs broke due to heavy new growth and water weight. After being examined by arborist Dr. Malcolm Guidry, it was determined that the collapsed limb should be cut off in the best interests of both public safety and overall health of the tree.

A statement released by the school on Monday said in part,

"The University is committed to protecting and supporting the Friendship Oak well into the future. Based on the recommendations included in Dr. Guidry's report and the supporting opinions of Dr. Fellner and myself, the University is moving forward with the collapsed limb removal and tree remediation, which is expected to begin on Thursday, Oct. 19, at approximately 10 a.m. Removal and remediation work will occur intermittently over the course of 3-5 days, weather permitting. Please note that a number of variables related to such a large-scale outdoor project could impact this estimated timeline."

Those who would like to be present for the removal will be able to watch from a secure viewing area on Lloyd Lawn on Oct. 19 and 20.

The tree currently stands at 59-feet high and is nearly 6-feet in diameter. A popular photo spot for visitors, legend has it that those who enter in its shadow will remain friends for life.

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