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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Longwood in Seminole County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

"The Phoenix"…

 
 
"The Phoenix" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, September 13, 2020
1. "The Phoenix" Marker
Inscription.  “The Senator’s” Legacy Lives on in this Clone of the Original Tree

“The Senator” was the Florida state champion Bald Cypress tree and had survived through an estimated 3,500 years of Florida’s extreme weather, forest fires and the logging boom of the early 1900s. Through all this “The Senator” stood strong, even surviving a hurricane that knocked off the top 40 feet of its crown until, on January 16, 2012, “The Senator” was lost to an arson fire.

In the mid 1990s, Mr. Laymond Hardy, a high school teacher with a strong interest in cypress, worked with Mr. Marvin Buchannan of Central Florida Lands and Timber Nursery and Dr. Donald L. Rockwood of the University of Florida, to develop a seed orchard of selected cypress trees. These forward thinking individuals wanted to include “the Senator” and therefore, collected several of its branches for cloning.

These branches were grafted onto root stock, propagated, and grown to the size of the tree you see here today. When relocated to Big Tree Park, this specimen was approximately 40 feet tall, and is a
"The Phoenix" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, September 13, 2020
2. "The Phoenix" Marker
clone, i.e. has the exact genetic makeup as the original “Senator”. In a contest with local elementary schools this tree was given the name “The Phoenix.”
 
Erected by Seminole County.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Horticulture & Forestry.
 
Location. 28° 43.229′ N, 81° 19.901′ W. Marker is in Longwood, Florida, in Seminole County. Marker can be reached from General Hutchinson Parkway 0.3 miles east of North Ronald Reagan Boulevard, on the right when traveling east. Marker located near the center of Big Tree Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 761 General Hutchinson Parkway, Longwood FL 32750, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Big Tree (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lady Liberty (about 700 feet away); Longwood Hotel/Bradley McIntyre House (approx. 1.7 miles away); Historic Longwood/E.W. Henck (approx. 1.7 miles away); Heroes Monument (approx. 1.8 miles away); The Senator II (approx. 1.8 miles away); Oviedo Turntable (approx. 2½ miles away); Fixed Signal (approx. 2½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Longwood.
 
Also see . . .  Big Tree Park. Seminole County (Submitted on September 22, 2020, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida.) 
 
“The Phoenix” tree today image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, September 13, 2020
3. “The Phoenix” tree today
Southern Bald Cypress Tree Descriptive Panel image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, September 13, 2020
4. Southern Bald Cypress Tree Descriptive Panel
Bald Cypress is a deciduous tree found in swamps, wet stream banks and bottom lands in the southern part of the United States.
Characteristics. Old growth cypress trees can reach heights of 80–130 feet and diameters of 8-13. The bark is silvery to cinnamon-red and Stringy. The leaves are about 1/3” to ¾” long and arranged in a feather-like fashion along two sides of small branchlets. In the fall the leaves turn brown and the branchlets fall from the trees with the leaves still attached. It has a straight trunk with numerous branches and a narrow conical outline. As the tree ages, it develops a buttressed base and a smooth slowly tapering trunk. The top of the tree tends to flatten out.
Fruit. The fruit is a rounded cone or ‘ball’ about one inch in diameter (see photo). The outside is covered in irregular polygon-shaped scales. The seeds are contained inside and are irregularly shaped.
Geographic Range. Southern bald cypress grow from eastern Texas across the southern Gulf Coast and Atlantic plain. Its range extends north to southern New Jersey and Illinois.
Additional Information.
• Cypress is one of a very few trees that can survive in standing water.
• Cypress wood is prized for its durability. The wood, particularly the heartwood, is durable when in contact with soil.
• Cypress trees have “knees” that extend from the root system to above water or soil. The functions of the knees are still not known. Scientists speculate that they anchor the tree in soft sediments or serve a respiration function.
• Cypress trees often have buttressed, or swollen, bases. This occurs most often in areas where they grow in flooded conditions. The height of the swollen base is a response to flooding.
• The name Taxodium is derived from a Greek word meaning “yew-like” and distichum means “two-ranked” and refers to the leaves.
Big Tree Park sign image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, September 13, 2020
5. Big Tree Park sign
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 23, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 22, 2020, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 56 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 22, 2020, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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Oct. 26, 2020