Bald cypress trees have been growing along the Black River for over a millennia. Scientists have recently discovered that trees are over two thousand years old. They also found a tree which is at least 2600 years old. The study has been published in the journal Environmental Research Communications.
This ranks it fifth among the oldest known non-clonal trees in the world. The Pando in Fishlake National Forest in Utah is the clonal colony of a singular male quaking aspen. It has grown by means of asexual reproduction and its root system is assumed to be 80,000 years old. It is one of the oldest living organisms.
Another tree was found near the bald cypress tree which was found to be 2088 years old. Researchers believe that there could be many more bald cypresses which may have even older origins.
David Stahle, a geoscientist from the University of Aransas commented that there could be multiple trees along the banks of Blank River which are atleast 2000 years old.
It has been widely known among the scientists that the trees in this region are quite old. Stahle and his fellow researchers found these trees in the 1980s which have been dated back till 1700 years. Due to this reason the North Carolina Nature Conservancy privately bought 16000 acres for protection of these species.
The trees were found in a wetland which was not previously visited by the researchers. Scientists used an instrument named increment borer which does not affect the trees in any way to obtain a core sample for counting the rings of the tree. It is used by foresters, researchers for finding the age of the tree. This is known as dendrochronology. It is very compact and can be easily carried.
Several trees have been found which dates back to the timeline of the ancient kingdoms. Scientists found a tree BLK227 which has dated back to 2,624 years. It indicates that it originated from a seedling back in 605 BC, the time of the Roman Empire and when Nebuchadnezzar II became the Emperor of Babylon. One more tree, BLK232 has been found which dates back till 2088 years, a time when Queen Cleopatra took birth.
Scientists have been quite amused to find the whole range of ancient trees along the bank of the river. These bald cypress trees are quite hard and they are used for timber production. Apart from the age, the rings of the bald cypress trees are an indicator of the rainy season of any year.