Skip to main content

The oldest living bald cypress trees (Taxodium distichum) found at least 2,624 years old

Longevity, climate sensitivity, and conservation status of wetland trees at Black River, North Carolina. A recently documented stand of bald cypress trees (Taxodium distichum) 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.

David Stahle of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and colleagues discovered the trees in 2017 in a forested wetland preserve along the Black River south of Raleigh, North Carolina. Stahle documented the age of the trees using dendrochronology, the study of tree rings, and radio carbon dating.

Dlium The oldest living bald cypress trees (Taxodium distichum) found at least 2,624 years old

The researchers report the findings in Environmental Research Communications, the ancient trees are part of an intact ecosystem that spans most of the 65-mile length of the Black River. The trees are a scientifically valuable means of reconstructing ancient climate conditions.

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

"It is exceedingly unusual to see an old-growth stand of trees along the whole length of a river like this. 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," said Stahle.

Dlium.com Dlium The oldest living bald cypress trees (Taxodium distichum) found at least 2,624 years old

Stahle has been working in the area since 1985 and cataloged bald cypress trees as old as 1,700 years in a 1988 study published in the journal Science. The new findings helped preserve the area, 16,000 acres of which have since been purchased by The Nature Conservancy, a private land-conservation group that keeps most of its holdings open to the public.

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

Journal : D W Stahle et al. Longevity, climate sensitivity, and conservation status of wetland trees at Black River, North Carolina, Environmental Research Communications, 9 May 2019, DOI:10.1088/2515-7620/ab0c4a

Comments

Popular

Salak (Salacca zalacca)

Salak or snake fruit ( Salacca zalacca ) is a species of palm plant in Arecaceae, dioesis, shrubs and not trunked, has many thorns, many shoots, grows into dense and strong clumps, spreads below or above the ground, often branching and 10-15 cm diameter. S. zalacca has compound leaves, pinnate and 3-7 m long. Petiole, midrib and sapling have many long thorns, thin spines and a blackish-gray color. Minor leaves have a lanceolate shape, a pointed tip, 8x85 cm and a white underside by a waxy coating. The flowers in the cob are compound, appear in the armpit of the leaf, stem, initially covered by a sheath then dry and break down like fibers. Male flowers 50-100 cm long, 4-12 cylindrical items, 7-15 cm long, reddish in the armpits of tightly arranged scales. Female flowers 20-30 cm long, stemmed long and 1-3 items. The fruit has scaly skin, is eaten and is known as a table fruit, triangular shaped rather rounded or inverted ovoid, pointed at the base and rounded at the tip, 2.5-10

Redflower ragleaf (Crassocephalum crepidioides)

Sintrong or ebolo or thickhead or redflower ragleaf ( Crassocephalum crepidioides ) are plant species in Asteraceae, terma height 25-100 cm, white fibrous roots, generally grow wild on the roadside, yard gardens or abandoned lands at altitude 200- 2500 m. C. crepidioides has erect or horizontal stems along the soil surface, vascular, soft, non-woody, shallow grooves, green, rough surface and short white hair, aromatic fragrance when squeezed. Petiole is spread on stems, tubular and eared. Single leaf, spread out, green, 8-20 cm long, 3-6 cm wide, longitudinal or round inverted eggshell with a narrow base along the stalk. Pointed tip, flat-edged or curved to pinnate, jagged rough and pointed. The top leaves are smaller and often sit. Compound flowers grow throughout the year in humps that are arranged in terminal flat panicles and androgynous. Green cuffs with orange-brown to brick-red tips, cylindrical for 13-16 mm long and 5-6 mm wide. The crown is yellow with a brownish red

Guinea grass (Panicum maximum)

Guinea grass or buffalo grass or green panic ( Panicum maximum ) is a plant species in Poaceae, annual grasses, growing upright to form clumps, strong, cultivated in all tropical and subtropical regions for very high value as fodder. P. maximum reproduces in very large pols, fibrous roots penetrate into the soil, upright stems, green, 1-1.5 m tall and have smooth cavities for diameters up to 2.5 mm. Propagation is done vegetatively and generatively. Ribbon-shaped leaves with a pointed tip, very many, built in lines, green, 40-105 cm long, 10-30 mm wide, erect, branched, a white linear bone, often covered with a layer of white wax, rough surface by hair short, dense and spread. The flower grows at the end of a long and upright stalk, open with the main axis length to more than 25 cm and the length of the bunches down to 20 cm. Grains have a size of 3x4 mm and oval. Seeds have a length of 2.25-2.50 mm and each 1 kg contains 1.2 - 1.5 million seeds. Guinea grass has two varieties. P