Is it even a tree farm I'm looking for?
March 5, 2013 8:03 PM   Subscribe

You know that last time you drove through Mississippi or Louisiana and you passed by acre after acre of pine trees, all in nice rows? Help me find a publicly-accessible spot like that near New Orleans so that I can use it as a background in a photo.

I don't know if those are even tree farms per se, or just pine trees planted in nice straight rows for some other reason. I know I've seen them nearby - maybe off of I-10 or I-59 headed into Mississippi - but I'd rather not drive that far if I don't have to, and especially without knowing where they are in advance. Years ago I was able to locate a pine tree farm on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain via Google but now when I search all I find is Christmas tree farms, which I don't think are what I'm looking for.

I can find that the rows are done by geometric thinning and that the search term "pine plantation" might be more accurate, but it's not helping me find any of these near New Orleans.

Of course I also want to be accessing these lands legally, so I'd prefer not to just be pulled over on the side of the highway and hiking several yards in - I'd rather have permission from the land owner.
posted by komara to Grab Bag (13 answers total)
Are you talking about something distinct from the general pine forest that proliferates in that part of the country?

My grandparents on both sides of my family live in piney wooded areas, one set in Lafourche Parish and the other in Pike County, Mississippi. But I don't think they're deliberate pine plantations and have never heard of any such thing despite growing up surrounded by pine forests.

As a child I attended a summer camp outside Amite, LA, called "Camp Whispering Pines". They're that ubiquitous.

In my admittedly flawed understanding, most of the lumber industry in Louisiana is up around Shreveport, nowhere near New Orleans. Not sure about Mississippi at all or even if lumber is what you're talking about.

Can you link to a photo of what exactly you mean?

In any event, you have to go towards the North Shore or similar distances to get to anything agricultural or forested in southern Louisiana, anyway. There's none of that stuff actually within New Orleans proper. You may be able to find it in a different direction (maybe southwest towards the Atchafalaya or north towards Baton Rouge?), but you're still going to have to leave the city.
posted by Sara C. at 8:15 PM on March 5, 2013

Well, sure, I know there's nothing like that in New Orleans proper. I'm just hoping to hear, "Oh, there's a pine farm that fits that description just 10 minutes north of Covington" or whatever. The first image in my 'geometric thinning' link is exactly what I'm looking for - long rows of pines that go on for such distance that they form a beautiful vanishing point.
posted by komara at 8:25 PM on March 5, 2013

That picture looks just like the trails around my grandparents' place in Pike County, MS. They do not have a pine plantation -- just adequately maintained forest.

I'd drive up 59 some weekend and just stop when you get to a pretty spot. Make it the weekend of the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival, maybe do some antiquing. That way you won't mind the drive.

If you want something public, try a state park maybe?
posted by Sara C. at 8:30 PM on March 5, 2013

I suspect this is something that's fairly easy to identify on Google Maps. Here's what looks like a patch about 10 minutes north of Covington, though it might not have the perfectly straight rows you're after, and might not even be pine.
posted by pullayup at 8:35 PM on March 5, 2013

Here's more about a half hour north of Covington.
posted by pullayup at 8:39 PM on March 5, 2013

Miller's Crossing was filmed in NO and the forest scenes were allegedly a tree farm "90 minutes away" on the north side of Lake Pontchartrain, but apparently the precise spot isn't certain. Perhaps that's the same spot you remember.
posted by dhartung at 9:00 PM on March 5, 2013

dhartung: I have been trying to decide how I feel about seeing my own blog post referenced as a potential answer to my question, and I'm drawing a blank here. This is a new experience for me.
posted by komara at 9:45 PM on March 5, 2013 [5 favorites]

I saw one of these on the south side of I-10, east of Lake Pontchartrain. I don't have a good location for you.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:55 PM on March 5, 2013

If you want trees in nice neat rows, I think you DO want to consider Christmas tree farms; while I've only personally known such farms in New England, they all consisted of fields of straight rows of trees. Usually each field had a single pretty consistant height too: the tree farmer would harvest Field A this year, Field B next year, and so on. So, go ahead and Google 'Christmas tree farm', then just call --- since you're not planning to damage the trees and only want to photograph them as background, they probably won't object.
posted by easily confused at 3:01 AM on March 6, 2013

I also saw one on I10 a little past lake pontchartrain.
posted by spunweb at 6:38 AM on March 6, 2013

pullayup: Thanks. Somehow it never occurred to me to just spend some time panning around in satellite view. I'll have to do more of that.

the man of twists and turns, spunweb: excellent. Maybe after I finish my other project this weekend I'll head east on a road trip and see what I can find.

easily confused: It's my fault for not clarifying that I wanted tall skinny pine trees not fat conical Christmas trees.
posted by komara at 9:43 AM on March 6, 2013

*blinks* is there an echo in here? Heh to that.
posted by dhartung at 3:07 PM on March 6, 2013

Okay, no Christmas trees.

Maybe call a nursery that sells a lot of trees, and ask them for the name of a place that grows cypress trees? Explaining that you're looking for a good photo site, of course, not that you're trying to sneak around to their wholesaler to buy cheap trees.
posted by easily confused at 11:55 AM on March 7, 2013

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