Friendship Oak Tree, The

The University of Southern Mississippi - Gulf Coast Campus

730 East Beach Boulevard

Long Beach, MS 39560

Phone: (228) 865-4500

The Historic Friendship Oak Tree is located on the front lawn of the Southern Miss Gulf Coast campus in Long Beach. The Friendship Oak recently survived Hurricane Katrina, another in a long string of hurricanes that have rocked the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

On the beachfront campus of The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast (formerly known as Gulf Park), overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, is a magnificent live oak tree 500-plus years old. The tree is loved by former students of Gulf Park College, revered by tree lovers, held in fond memory by those whose wedding ceremonies were conducted on the platform within its mighty branches, and viewed daily by tourists.

Friendship Oak keeps her majestic vigil on the Gulf of Mexico, a vigil that dates back to 1487 and she has seen the history of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and of America unfold.

Current measurements show a 50-foot height; diameter of the trunk is 5 feet 9 inches; circumference of the trunk is 18 feet 7 inches; spread of foliage is 156 feet. The average length of the main lateral limbs is 60-66 feet from the trunk; average circumference of the limbs at the trunk is 7 1/2 feet; the tree forms almost 16,000 feet of shelter; and lateral roots go out 150 feet.

The Friendship Oak remains one of the most photographed attractions on the Mississippi Gulf Coast!

The 32nd Annual BBQ Under the Oaks is a fundraising event to help support the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra!

This year we will be under new oaks! Thank you to the University of Southern Mississippi for allowing the GCSO to use your beautiful campus for our annual event!

Once in the door, the more than 2,000 guests who attend the event are free to sample any and all of the barbecue specialties at this all-you-can-eat occasion.

Barbecue Under the Oaks has grown tremendously over the years, becoming a much-beloved favorite of barbecue lovers, supporters of the arts, and families across the Gulf Coast and beyond. The event is well-known regionally and was recently awarded one of only eight “Awards of Excellence” presented by the League of American Symphonies Volunteer Council, recognizing Barbecue Under the Oaks as one of the best fundraising events in the nation.