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Black River Bald Cypresses

At a time when the east coast is losing its canopy at an alarming rate it’s hard to believe that a lone tree could survive untouched for 500 years, let alone an entire stand of them. But that’s exactly what David Stahle, a professor of geoscience at the university of Arkansas has recently documented. The trees, bald cypresses, were first discovered in 2017 along North Carolina’s Black River, just an hours drive from Wilmington and were known to be old, but no one knew just how old. That is until the results of the core samples were revealed , and the numbers were astounding. Several of the trees came in at over 2,000 years old and one in particular was estimated to have been standing for at least 2,624 years. To put that in perspective this tree predates the reign of Alexander the Great by 200 years, was 600 when Jesus was born and over 2,000 years old when the pilgrims first set foot on our shores.
This is all particularly amazing when one considers that cypress timber was highly desirable and that less than 1% of our virgin cypress trees remain, having managed to evade the logging industry.

- the oldest known living tree in the world is a Great Basin Bristlecone Pine in California and is estimated to be 5,066 years old.

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