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The location: Jason's Big Tree.
Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?
A huge oak tree by the side of the road.
Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?
In Bon Temps, Louisiana.
Q. When did we see it on the show?
A. In Episode 6 of Season One: "Cold Ground".
Jason Stackhouse is out working at the side of the road with his co-workers, Rene & Hoyt.
(They're wearing orange vests which read "Renard Parish - Public Works Dept.")
Jason is still somewhat under the influence of "V" (vampire blood), and feeling in contact with all of Nature. We see him staring up in awe at this huge oak tree.
So, when he sees Rene about to jackhammer one of the big roots of the giant oak tree, he freaks and tackles Rene, causing him to drop the jackhammer.
Ray's temper flares, and his co-workers have to hold him back from attacking Jason.
Q. What is it actually, in real life?
A big oak tree at the side of the road.
Q. Where can I find it in real life?
A. This big tree is on the south side of 502 Franklin Street, in Mansfield, Louisiana.
That's at the southeast corner of Franklin & Monroe., just a couple of blocks northwest of Mansfield's City Hall.
is a map
link, with the tree location marked.
And this photo of the big tree was shot by Michele & Eleanor in 2009:
Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?
A. I knew that they had filmed in Mansfield, so I went looking there for that big tree by the side of road.
I was helped by a couple of clues: a white sign on the right side of the road in the distance (for "Eagle Bail Bonds"), a white house across the street, and the leaning shack seen behind the tree. Plus the obvious size of the tree, of course.
As a starting point, I used the corner of Texas Street & Washington Ave, where they filmed the scene of Jason driving into town.
As you can see (above), the Google StreetView shots are pretty helpful in this town (particularly important, since Bing doesn't offer their usual Birds-Eye View here).
I didn't have far to look. I found the tree just three blocks to the east of that other filming location.
It was the biggest tree at the side of the road on Franklin, and the leaning shack (just west of the tree) and that white house across the street made it easy to verify.
Later, Michele & Eleanor, who went on a "True Blood" vacation to Louisiana, sent me the photo above. (Thanks, guys!)
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