LSU Hilltop Arboretum is home to the “Mr. Emory Wedding Tree” a member of The Live Oak Society of the Louisiana Garden Club Federation, Inc. This large live oak (Quercus virginiana) with a diameter of 8 feet, a focal point of the arboretum and a favorite site for weddings, qualified to be registered in the elite Centenarian Trees classification. The tree was named in memory of Hilltop’s donor Mr. Emory Smith.


Dr. Edwin Lewis StephensDr. Edwin Lewis Stephens, Founder

The Live Oak Society (LOS) was founded in 1934 by Dr. Edwin Lewis Stephens, the first president of Southwestern Louisiana Institute (now the University of Louisiana in Lafayette).

The Society promotes the culture, distribution, preservation and appreciation of the live oak tree, scientifically known as Quercus virginiana.

The Live Oak Society began with 43 members chosen by Dr. Stephens and now boasts 8,786 members in 14 states and is under the auspices of the Louisiana Garden Club Federation, Inc.

To become a member of the Live Oak Society, a live oak tree must have a girth (waistline) of eight feet or greater.  Learn more about the Live Oak Society and to register a qualifying tree in your community.