Wednesday, July 27, 2005


It's rare to find any old growth trees in Florida. This is a living cypress tree in Goethe State Forest. Like most old cypress trees, it has been topped out by centuries of lightening strikes. I couldn't get the whole tree in the shot, so I settled for it's massive base. Since this pictue was taken, the tree has put on 2 more growth rings and the boy has put on a foot or two of height. Also there is now a boardwalk out to this amazing tree...we slogged through the swamp. Posted by Picasa

9 comments:

Zanne said...

Oh my - yet another memory. Only occasionally would my father allow one of us kids to go along in the small boat that traveled in search of cypress knees. This was in the 50's and polished cypress knees were considered works of art back in the city. I wish I still had one, just for old times sake. P.S. the swamp where the knees were "collected" was VERY SPOOKY.

Weary Hag said...

Beautiful tree. It's amazing how fast they grow when we're not looking; trees AND kids!

pablo said...

Gorgeous tree.

Hick said...

Why is it rare to find old growth trees in Fla? I find it hard to believe that it's due to lightning. (Just kidding about the lightning part, but am serious about the other question.) And, what age constitutes old growth. We have a huge cedar tree in our yard that is probably over 200 years old...is that old growth?

PS. Isn't today National Talk Like a Pirate Day? ARGGGGH, me maties.

Hick said...

One more thing...I'm sure you know this answer because you seem to be the Oracle of Florida...heh...what the heck is a Cypress Knee? Is it those little knobs on the trees and what would you use them for? (Bad English again, I know...but it's still summer.)

Floridacracker said...

Zanne,
The roadside driftwood and cypress knee for sale places still exist here and there in FL. You can't cut knees legally anymore unless it's on your property or is a permitted harvest.

Weary,
I swear I can watch him grow if he sits still for a minute. Mitosis is a wonderful thing. He has passed his older sisters and his Momma, and I have about a half a foot on him...

Hick,
Old growth is rare in FL due to 5 centuries of logging. My hometown, St. Augustine was already 55 years old when the Pilgrims landed up north.
Old growth timber is usually at least a couple of centuries old. Virgin timber would mean it has never been cut over and the 2 terms get tossed around together. You could have "old growth" forest that was cut 300 years ago and allowed to grow back. The trees would be old, but not virgin.
Cypress knees are cone shaped extensions of the cypress tree roots that extend up above the water line. Cypress grow in flooded areas and the knees help the roots to get oxygen. People use them for all kinds of crafty art projects. I like 'em best on a tree in a swamp.

"Oracle of Florida" I like that...

Floridacracker said...

Pablo,
Wait til you see the live oak giant in another local preserve. I will get a shot soon and post.

Rurality said...

Dear Oracle, :)

Yeah yeah I love the live oaks! Are there many of them left there - the large ones I mean? When I was there I wasn't quite the nature nut that I am now, so did not notice.

I think St Augustine was my favorite FL city ever to visit.

Floridacracker said...

Rurality.
Large live oaks are pretty common, but the one I mentioned to Pablo is beyond large. I just have to find it again. It's off the trail and was shown to me by an old timer who grew up in what is now a public conservation area.
I agree, St. Augustine is a special place.
Take care.