by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
I didn’t know that Virginia’s largest tree was 80 miles southeast of Richmond. And I didn’t know that the 123-foot-tall and 12-1/2 foot-wide tree was 1,000 years old or older. But the Washington Post reported this week that the ancient bald cypress died recently after a year of declining health. It seems that its passing is worthy recognizing in a time when so many things are short lived. Yes 1,000 years seems like an incredible accomplishment in today’s world. I only wish I had ventured to see it before it died.
Dubbed Big Mama, the largest tree in Virginia towered over Cypress Bridge, a swamp in the Nottoway River. The 40 acres of virgin wilderness is so remote, the tree’s existence wasn’t reported until 2005.