At Wayne Brown's order, the live oak was lifted into place for planting. The Southern District Transportation Commissioner joined a host of community leaders for the symbolic planting in Long Beach.
M-DOT is planting three thousand trees on the medians of Highway 90 between Henderson Point and Point Cadet.
"I think it's all part of the quality of life here on the coast. And I think that this is one step toward recovering and improving the quality of life," said Long Beach Mayor Billy Skellie.
"Three inches is here, then you go around. So, it would be about five," said Joanna Hudson, as she measured the tree's diameter.
No one is happier to see the new trees than Hudson. She's a master gardener who's been involved with Highway 90 beautification for some 30 years.
"This reminds me and makes one of my dreams come true. That someday it will look like the Natchez Trace," says Hudson,"I did help write the tree ordinance in Long Beach. And I do like to maintain and encourage people the value of trees. I don't say you can't cut a tree, but I do tell you the value and what it does for you and your property."
Three thousand trees will have a significant impact on the 26 miles of Highway 90 that runs alongside the sand beach. And it's not just the aesthetic difference that comes from planting oaks and palm trees.
"Trees always add value. And if you look over the years, trees have also protected us from storms," said Harrison County Supervisor Connie Rockco.
Highway 90's designation as a parkway means more than the ability to get federal funds to plant new trees. It also helps dictate the future use of this busy highway.
"Let me tell you, tell our citizens, U.S. 90 will remain a parkway. We will not widen U.S. 90. Where it's four lanes, it will remain four lanes. Where it's six lanes, it will remain six lanes," said Southern District Transportation Commissioner Wayne Brown.
M-DOT should wrap up the tree planting project in the next several weeks. After that, there's another big project in the works. Highway 90 will be repaved beginning this summer.