At around 800 years old, the McDonogh Oak is the oldest (and largest) Live Oak tree in New Orleans City Park! This magnificent tree got its name from philanthropist John McDonogh who acquired the existing Allard Plantation, which sat on Bayou St. John side of City Park, in 1845.
When McDonogh passed away in 1850, it was revealed that he left all of his possessions, including Allard Plantation, to the cities of New Orleans and Baltimore. Public sentiments of this bequest lead to Allard Plantation becoming a public park in April 1854.
With centuries under its belt, the McDonogh Oak has seen it all, but being the oldest tree in City Park doesn’t come without a few obstacles. In 1981, the tree suffered severe injury when it shed a major branch and support posts were added to the rest of the older and longer branches. Today, the McDonogh is still thriving and prospering in what is called the “Old Grove”, which consists of the strip of land between City Park Avenue and Bayou Metairie.
This historic Oak and all of the trees at City Park are admired, loved, and just waiting to be utilized by locals and tourists alike for lazy days lying under the shade, picnics with friends, and even marriage proposals!
Explore City Park is brought to you by Friends of City Park, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to raising funds for capital improvement projects in City Park, in partnership with Mid-City Messenger.
Are you interested in other areas of the park or general park history? Let us know what you are interested in and it could be our next tour! Email Friends Executive Director, Casie Duplechain, at firstname.lastname@example.org with any interests that you may have!