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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.
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One Response to “Ode to Virginia’s 1,000-year-old Tree”

  1. Phillip Merritt says:

    I was lucky to get to see Big Mama last November on a field trip with the Virginia Native Plant Society. Very impressive! I’m saddened to see it go. You can see my photos of Big Mama and the surrounding old growth forest at http://www.flickr.com/photos/claytonsnatives/sets/72157602919710743/

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