16 Jan 2012

3500 Year Old Tree Destroyed By Fire

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The Senator, a 125 feet (38 meters) tall pond cypress (Taxiodum ascendens), with a trunk diameter of 17.5 feet (5.3 meters), located in Big Tree Park, Longwood, Florida, was destroyed last night by an unexplained fire which initiated in the tree’s hollow interior.

The cypress, estimated to have been 3500 years old, was the oldest tree east of the Mississippi River, and counted on some lists as the fifth oldest tree in the world.

The Senator was 165 feet (50 meters) in 1925, before a hurricane took down its top. It was named for Senator M.O. Overstreet who donated the tree and the land surrounding it to Seminole County in 1927.

Local firefighters laid 800 feet (243.8 meters) of hose in a vain attempt to save the ancient tree.

Washington Post



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