Historic tree "The Senator" catches fire and collapses

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edfrank
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Historic tree "The Senator" catches fire and collapses

Post by edfrank » Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:32 am

Historic tree "The Senator" catches fire and collapses
http://www.wdbo.com/news/news/local/his ... fir/nGNcm/


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LONGWOOD, Fla. —

Firefighters say one of the world's oldest cypress trees has caught fire in Central Florida.

Seminole County firefighters arrived around 7 a.m. Monday at Big Tree Park in Longwood where “The Senator” caught fire. Firefighters ran 800 feet of hose down a boardwalk through the woods to reach “The Senator.”

“Unfortunately due to the fact that it is so old, it’s actually burning from the inside out. It’s almost like a chimney effect,” Steve Wright with the Seminole County Fire Department said. “So it’s harder for us to get into it because it’s a collapse zone now.”

Wright said the fire was reported by a passerby before six Monday morning. When firefighters arrived, they found flames shooting from the of the 3,500 year old cypress tree.

Joe Abel, the director of Seminole County Leisure Services, arrived just in time to see “The Senator” collapse.

“It’s a pretty sad day, 35-hundred years,” Abel said.
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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edfrank
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Re: Historic tree "The Senator" catches fire and collapses

Post by edfrank » Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:35 am

'The Senator' falls, world's 5th oldest tree destroyed by fire in Longwood

http://www.baynews9.com/article/news/20 ... -Tree-Park


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A 3,500-year-old Central Florida landmark is no more.

A fire early Monday has destroyed the 125-foot-tall bald cypress tree known as "The Senator," the centerpiece of Longwood's Big Tree Park.

"The Senator" was the tallest cypress tree in Florida, and believed to be the oldest of its kind in North America, and the fifth oldest tree in the world.

Seminole County firefighters could not immediately determine how the fire started, but said a passer-by reported the fire around 5:45 a.m.

Crews had to lay over 800 feet of hose just to get to the tree, but Steve Wright, with Seminole County Fire Rescue, said they could not save "The Senator."
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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edfrank
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Re: Historic tree "The Senator" catches fire and collapses

Post by edfrank » Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:37 am

Investigator: Fire that destroyed The Senator tree not arson
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/loc ... 1920.story

video clip: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/loc ... emiumvideo

One of the world's oldest cypress trees — known as "The Senator" and found at Big Tree Park in Seminole County — caught fire early Monday morning and collapsed.
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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ElijahW
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Re: Historic tree "The Senator" catches fire and collapses

Post by ElijahW » Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:12 am

Ed,

You beat me to it. I just saw this online. I regret that I've never seen the tree, and I guess it's too late now. I didn't see the reason for the fire, but I'm sure we'll know soon enough. Too bad.

Elijah
"There is nothing in the world to equal the forest as nature made it. The finest formal forest, the most magnificent artificially grown woods, cannot compare with the grandeur of primeval woodland." Bob Marshall, Recreational Limitations to Silviculture in the Adirondacks

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edfrank
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Re: Historic tree "The Senator" catches fire and collapses

Post by edfrank » Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:24 am

Elijah,

I never got to see the tree in person either. FYI the oldest accurately aged Cypress is from NC at 1622 years old. There are some from the Four Holes Swamp of SC over 1,000 years.
http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~adk/oldli ... /TADI.html


Ed
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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edfrank
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Re: Historic tree "The Senator" catches fire and collapses

Post by edfrank » Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:33 pm

More information about the Senator Cypress

http://www.nativetreesociety.org/fieldt ... press2.htm

.
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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Will Blozan
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Re: Historic tree "The Senator" catches fire and collapses

Post by Will Blozan » Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:31 pm

NTS,

Thankfully I was able to see this tree twice and complete a reticle volume modeling. Although not even close to the superlatives of height and age so copiously and erroneously spouted, it was indeed the east's first or second largest tree.

Bummer. Sounds like the Sag Branch Tuliptree may now hold the title of the largest eastern tree since the only two trees known to be larger have now both collapsed.

Will

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Historic tree "The Senator" catches fire and collapses

Post by Larry Tucei » Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:04 pm

What a drag. I wanted to go see this great tree. We have some in the Pascagoula 1000+ years. I remember one in particular that fell about 15 years ago. It was in 20'cbh class and what made it special is that at 60' it was still 20 cir., very similar to the Senator. It had been leaning for all the years I saw it about a 10 year period, then it to came down but not from fire it just fell over one day. I wish I had taken a photo of that tree it is the largest Cypress I've ever seen. The tree I'm describing was much larger that any standing Cypress in all of Southern Ms. of today. I've been reading about a huge Cypress in the Mobile Delta that's described much like the Senator and the Pascagoula Cypress. Now after this tragic loss I'll have to go and measure the Alabama tree. We will never forget the one of the greatest Cypress trees in the south- Senator rest in peace!

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Marcboston
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Re: Historic tree "The Senator" catches fire and collapses

Post by Marcboston » Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:44 pm

Wow I am so bummed out that never got to see that tree. The last few months have been tough on some of our heritage trees. Do all cypress have the potential to reach the sizes of the senator or was it an anomaly? Historically, is there any creditable information about cypress trees that were felled around the size of the senator?

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Historic tree "The Senator" catches fire and collapses

Post by Larry Tucei » Mon Jan 16, 2012 7:28 pm

Marc, Cypress trees can be huge. It was not uncommon for them to reach 30-40 Cir before Whiteman cut them all down. Very few remain today thanks to greed. One example. Search Old Cypress Trees on google. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fr008 Here is another in Tenn., the height is an extreme varse though.http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~tnwea ... sstree.htm One more form Missouri. http://www.semissourian.com/blogs/flynch/entry/39981/ These are a few examples of Cypress trees that were once common. Most are gone now with a few remnants here and there. Larry
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