Monday, January 16, 2012

3500 Year Old Tree Destroyed by Fire

A 3,500 year old Palm Cypress Tree in Seminole County, Florida, was destroyed by fire. It is the oldest Pond Bald Cypress tree in the world. The tree, known locally as The Senator, after Senator M.O. Overstreet who donated the land the tree stands on. President Calvin Coolidge dedicated the tree in 1929 with a presidential bronze plaque.


Firefighters indicated that much of the tree was dead and hollowed out, making it susceptible to fire. In this case, the fire, of unknown origin, burned inside the tree and toppled it. Until now, this tall and majestic tree had survived hundreds of hurricanes and brush fires during its long life.

To put the The Senator's age into perspective, when this tree was only a seedling, human civilization was in its infancy.

  • Mycenaean Greece develops as a society.
  • The beginning of the Shang Dynasty in China emerges with evidence of a fully developed Chinese writing system.
  • The beginning of Hittite dominance of the Eastern Mediterranean region is seen.
  • The New Kingdom of Egypt emerged.
Lady Liberty, considered a sister tree to the Senator, survived the fire. Lady Liberty is only 2,000 years old and approximately 89 feet tall.


Photo courtesy of Florida State Archives.


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