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Ocean Springs loses its biggest and oldest oak; family loses a treasure

By Karen Nelson | Sun Herald | July 25, 2013 

ocean-springs-biggest-oakOCEAN SPRINGS -- The Hasty Oak, Ocean Springs' largest and oldest until this week, was named after the woman who lived under it for decades. Nora Hasty bought the little house under the giant oak on Forest Hill Drive in the 1940s and moved in with her two daughters. She died in 2004 at the age of 95. Then on July 9, the Hasty Oak split, and after a process of evaluation, it died. It took more than a week for a crew and two large cranes to take it down and remove it from the property. They finished Tuesday. "I grieved when it fell. It was like losing a family member," Sylvia Hasty Foreman said.

With the Hasty Oak gone, the Ruskin Oak on Ruskin Avenue steps up as the largest Live Oak tree in Ocean Springs, Mayor Connie Moran said. It's believed to be 500 years old as well. Moran said the Ruskin is a very popular tree for portraits and already is on the city's cultural asset map, recently completed by the Mississippi Development Authority.

"I would like to see us be able to ensure its health and endurance, perhaps by making a donation to the Chamber of Commerce for that purpose, for professional care," she said. "It is definitely a natural treasure of our community."


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