1,000 Year-Old Cypress
— Atchafalaya Water Heritage Trail —
Lake Dauterive is home to one of the oldest documented cypress trees in Louisiana. The approximately 1,000-year-old tree has a circumference of 17 feet and a diameter of 5.4 feet.
Though named as two separate lakes, Lake Dauterive and Lake Fausse Pointe function as one natural body of water. Lake Dauterive (located north of Lake Fausse Pointe) is just west of Bayou Chene and drains south into Lake Fausse Pointe. It was cut off from the Atchafalaya River when the Atchafalaya Basin levees were built in the 1930s. Today the lake receives runoff from surrounding lands and is relatively shallow, with depths ranging from nine or 10 feet at its deepest point to a mere 18 inches in areas of high sedimentation.
This lake is home to an approximately 1,000-year-old cypress tree—one of the oldest documented in Louisiana. This tree has a circumference of 17 feet and a diameter of 5.4 feet. It is among a group of old growth cypress that was not harvested between 1870 and 1920, when loggers clear-cut many ancient cypress groves throughout south Louisiana. The tree’s age was estimated from core density of samples taken from its exterior.
In their native habitat, bald cypress trees display a peculiar habit of raising conical "knees" from their roots. The function of these growths is still a mystery, although some believe it is a way to help the roots get oxygen or to provide stability for the tree. Unlike most conifers—which are evergreens—the bald cypress is deciduous, meaning it loses its needles in the fall. This gives the tree a “bald” appearance part of the year. An icon in southern swamps, the bald cypress is Louisiana’s State Tree.
Lake Dauterive was named after A. B. Dauterive, a prominent planter who owned St. Rose de Lima Plantation (later named Caroline Plantation), once located at the lake. The Dauterive family was French and of noble descent. Their name was formerly spelled “D'Hauterive,” and early accounts of the 1862 Confederate Camp Dauterive refer to the area as “deHuitreve” or “doctrive.”
Visit Atchafalaya.org for more information about this site.
This site’s geology/geomorphology: Holocene backswamp deposits of Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers.
Erected by State of Louisiana and National Park Service.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Atchafalaya Water Heritage Trail marker series.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lake Fausse Pointe (approx. 2.9 miles away); Alligators! (approx. 3.1 miles away); Oak and Pine Alley (approx. 10.4 miles away); Beau Pre-Circa 1828 (approx. 11.6 miles away); Bayou Teche (approx. 11.7 miles away); Deportation Cross (approx. 12 miles away); Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (approx. 12.1 miles away); Judge Émile Édouard (Edward) Simon (approx. 12.1 miles away).
More about this marker. Marker is on left traveling south, across the levee. This site IS under water during high water events.
Categories. • Waterways & Vessels •
More. Search the internet for Lake Dauterive.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 31, 2018. This page originally submitted on July 31, 2018, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 61 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 31, 2018.