Fig vines are taking over the legendary Evangeline Oak in St. Martinville, according to LSU Ag Extension Agent Stuart Gauthier and Lafayette arborist Jim Foret.
The officials told the St. Martinville City Council at Monday night's city council meeting about the vines. Foret said the 12-15 large fig vines have "grown out of control and are now competing with the tree for both water and light and placing extra weight on the massive limbs," says a report in Teche Today.
The oak is about 150-200 years old, but Foret said it's in good shape. He told the council it will probably outlive "all of us, even the young people in the back of the room." He added, though, that it is an old tree, and "needs all the energy it can get."
He advised the council on measures to take to care for the tree. The vines should be cut and allowed to die. No chemicals should be used on the tree, nor should it be fertilized or watered.
Gauthier added that the vines are spreading to other trees along the Bayou Teche.
"It will be quite a job to try to remove the vine," Gauthier told KATC, "it's going to be a process that, if we can start at least, I think over the next few years...we can maybe try to start getting the creeping fig vine under control."