Weekend Adventures: The Duffee Oak
Mobile, Alabama is commonly known as the Azalea City due to the abundance of azaleas throughout but Mobile also has an amazing number of incredible oaks in its midtown and downtown areas. To kick off our adventure series, my husband Ian and I set out to find the historic Southern live oak known as The Duffee Oak.
Listed in Alabama’s Famous & Historic Trees Program by the Alabama Forestry Commission, The Duffee Oak, at approximately 300 years old, is considered the oldest living landmark in the City of Mobile. Due to its seven main limbs, it was once referred to as the Seven Sisters Oak but was eventually renamed for George A. Duffee, mayor of Mobile in 1878.
We arrived to find city workers carefully trimming some of the branches releasing a beautiful, fresh cut fragrance that was as amazing as it was soothing. Thankfully, we were allowed to get closer to photograph and experience the awe of The Duffee Oak. At 48 feet high with a limb spread of 126 feet, it was easy to feel a sense of admiration and reverence. Here stands 300 years of history, 300 years of experiences in landscape changes, weather patterns, historic hurricanes, civilization, and modernization.
I found myself wondering how the surrounding lands may have looked in 1721. Was it a lone oak in a lush field or a cluster of oaks on the edge of a pasture? Research indicates that the shotgun homes along the street where The Duffee Oak resides began to appear in the early 1900’s, many of which are still standing. Years ago, the oak came under threat of removal from builders but was thankfully saved due to public outcry. As we walked away, I felt grateful to those that stepped up to preserve The Duffee Oak, grateful for having the ability to experience its beauty and hopeful that it will remain to be shared by many generations yet to come.
- Tags: Weekend Adventures
- Apryl Doster