Landscapes For Florida Living

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Davie, Florida 33314


Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Did you know that central Florida was the home of a cypress tree that is over 3,500 years old.

Seminole County, Florida

In Longwood between Sanford and Orlando where two huge ancient cypress trees grow. The elder of the two ("The Senator Cypress") has been on this site for over 3,500 years. It is almost unimaginable that we can be talking about a living thing.  The other cypress ("Lady Liberty") If you were able to visit these trees you probably reached out and touched it... Trying to imagine the world as it was when the Senator first sprouted...  

Longwood, Fla. -- A fire destroyed one of the world's oldest cypress trees Monday, a landmark that sprouted about 3,500 years ago.
The Senator was named for the man who donated what is now Big Tree Park to Seminole County, Moses Oscar Overstreet, a state senator from 1920 to 1925.
An investigator with the state Division of Forestry listed the cause of the fire as "undetermined," but ruled out arson, said Cliff Frazier, a spokesman for the agency. The investigation is continuing.
Firefighters had to string more than 800 feet of hose through the woods to reach the fire. Just after dawn, a 20-foot section of the top of the tree fell off, Fire Rescue spokesman Steve Wright said. Minutes later, more of the tree collapsed, and then it burned for hours from the inside out - almost like a chimney.
"It's a nightmare," Wright said.
The tree was estimated to be 165 feet tall before a hurricane took off the top in 1925, according to county historians.
The American Forestry Association bored a small hole in the Senator in 1946 for a core sample that gave the tree an estimated age of 3,500 years.
Considered the largest tree of any species east of the Mississippi River, the Senator was one of central Florida's leading attractions before the arrival of the region's theme parks.
This article appeared on page A - 6 of the San Francisco Chronicle

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