Bald Cypress in Wetland Forests are East Coast's Oldest Trees

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 09 May 2019



Prof. David Stahle in North Carolina’s Black River
Prof. David Stahle in North Carolina’s Black River, UARK Research Frontiers, Photo by Dan Griffin.
UARK Research Frontiers, Photo by Dan Griffin.


Bald Cypress in Wetland Forests are East Coast's Oldest Trees

Researchers document the oldest known trees in eastern North America,
University of Arkansas, May 9, 2019.


Oldest Trees in East US
"A recently documented stand of bald cypress trees in North Carolina, including one tree at least 2,624 years old, are the oldest known living trees in eastern North America and the oldest known wetland tree species in the world."

"...discovered the trees in 2017 in a forested wetland preserve along the Black River south of Raleigh, North Carolina."

Long Run of Ancient Trees
"The ancient trees are part of an intact ecosystem that spans most of the 65-mile length of the Black River."

“This ancient forest gives us an idea of what much of North Carolina’s coastal plain looked like millennia ago."

Extending View Back
"The oldest trees in the preserve extend the paleoclimate record in the southeast United States by 900 years, and show evidence of droughts and flooding during colonial and pre-colonial times that exceed any measured in modern times."

Rare Run of Ancient Trees
“Bald cypress are valuable for timber and they have been heavily logged. Way less than 1 percent of the original virgin bald cypress forests have survived.”

David Stahle, Distinguished Professor of Geosciences
"...cataloged bald cypress trees as old as 1,700 years in a 1988 study published in the journal Science. His work helped preserve the area, 16,000 acres of which have since been purchased by The Nature Conservancy"

Safe Research
"...researchers used non-destructive core samples from 110 trees found in a section of the wetland forest they had not previously visited."

Ancient Wonderland
“The area of old growth bald cypress was 10 times larger than I realized,” Stahle said. “We think there are older trees out there still.”


Great Video

Black River
Ancient Bald Cypress of Black River, North Carolina


More Black Cypress Beauty

Ancient Bald Cypress Consortium

Consortium Gallery of Photos


The Bottom Line

What a beautiful place! These wetland-river-forest ecosystems create their own unique reality, a reality that we are very lucky has survived through almost four centuries of repeated waves of growth and development, to this point in time
And, I am hoping it has thousands more years it can maintain and preserve this special zone of wetland-forest experience, but it looks like that's up to us humans, more than any other "Natural," factors & forces at play.



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tree news, ancient trees, Bald cypress, oldest, East coast, Black River, North Carolina, consortium


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