8/19/2010 05:36:00 PM by Lauren Axelrod ·
The Senator at Big Tree Park in one of the largest Cypress trees in America. The Senator was used as a landmark by the Seminole Indians, as well as the other Native American tribes in the area. During the Hurricane of 1925, the top of the Senator was destroyed, lopping off 47 feet of the original 165 feet.
During the 1800's, The Senator was an enormous tourist attraction. Surprising really, as individuals had to trek through the rugged forest and swamp, jumping log to log, to reach "The Senator".
The walkway featured in the video was built later by the WPA-Works Progress Administration. The walkway is full of luscious greenery and canopies of trees, which made for a wonderful umbrella once the rain started to come down.
The Senator Bald Cypress tree measures close 18 feet in diameter and stands 118 feet high. The Senator's age is estimated between 3,400-3,500 years old, the 5th oldest tree in the world.
The tree's volume had previously been estimated at 4,300 cubic feet (120 , but a 2006 survey by Will Blozan of the Native Tree Society has measured the volume at well over 5,100 cubic feet, making The Senator not only the largest Bald Cypress in the United States, but also the largest tree of any species east of the Mississippi River.
In 1927, Senator M.O. Overstreet donated the tree and land to Seminole County for a park. The Senator, of course, is named after Senator M.O. Overstreet.
In 1929, President Calvin Coolidge visited The Senator, dedicating a commemorative plaque made of bronze. The plaque, along with the fencing surrounding the Senator, were stolen in 1945 by vandals. They were never recovered.
Video Footage Of The Senator
Another cypress tree is located only 40 feet from The Senator. The Lady Liberty tree measures 89 feet high, 10 feet in diameter, and is estimated to be 2000 years old and is one of the oldest trees in the world.
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