Back in January of 2012, one of the worlds oldest living trees in central Florida came crashing down in a fire. This was reportedly caused by a woman using meth early in the morning at the tree. She was recently convicted of arson but will receive no jail time. The 3500 year old growth pond cypress was one of the last of these giants that grew in central and north Florida. Most of them were cut down to meet the need for high quality cypress lumber early in the last century and 1800’s.
It is likely the old growth cypress tree, called Senator, survived the logging because it was hollow, common in old cypress trees due to a brown fungus that attacks living trees. It is this fungus that produces the defect called “Pecky”. This cypress is highly sought after by homeowners, architects and builders. It was this ‘hollow’ that brought down the tree in a raging fire. After living through countless hurricanes, freezes and fires it was irresponsible behavior by a human being that killed this tree that was 1500 years old when Christ was born. …photos rarely can capture the size of these old giants unless you have something to scale them …the Florida Forestry Dept. photo of the stump gives you some perspective.
Much of my reclaimed cypress comes from this area. Many of the abandoned logs were hollow just like the Senator …there were so many solid trees available the loggers simply discarded the hollow trees sometimes breaking up into flat chunks to make wilderness roads for the oxen teams to pull the huge logs out of the swamp.
We cannot bring back these ancient old growth trees but you could own a part of Florida history with reclaimed wood from logs left for Wiederholdcreations to make a fine door or garden gate. This reclaimed cypress makes beautiful furniture too.