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Author Topic: Meth Head Burns Down Oldest Tree in Florida, one of the oldest in the world...  (Read 1768 times)

stephendare

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3,500 hundred years old....





http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/28/the-senator-burns-fire-sara-barnes-arrested_n_1308513.html

A 26-year-old Orlando-area woman has been charged with setting the January fire that burned and destroyed 'The Senator', one of the world's oldest pond cypress trees and a beloved local attraction.

Investigators said tips to a crime hotline led them to Sara Barnes, who allegedly took photos of the fire she started inside the popular 118-foot-high hollow tree and uploaded them to her laptop, reports WKMG. According to WESH, Barnes told police she regularly visited the spot in Longwood's Big Tree Park to use drugs, and lit a fire the night of January 16 in order to see better.

"She did not call the Fire Department or 911 to report the fire," Florida Department of Agriculture spokesman Sterling Ivey told the Orlando Sentinel. "It's a great fuel source. Unfortunately."

The fire, which burned the tree from the inside out for several hours, caused a 20-foot section of the mighty bald cypress to fall from the top before the rest of the tree collapsed. Investigators initially ruled out arson and theorized that a lightning strike may have caused the fire.

Not only was Barnes charged with malicious burning of land, a third-degree felony, but police found drugs in her home while executing a search warrant. She now faces additional charges of possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia.

While Barnes sits in Seminole County jail on $5,950 total bond, WESH reports members of the public have taken their anger over The Senator's demise to her Facebook page:

"Burn in hell, you horror of a human," one person told Barnes, while another wrote, "I hope you get some 'jail house justice' in Seminole County Jail."

The tree, which was a whopping 18 feet wide, was named for a state senator in the 1920s who donated the land that is now Big Tree Park. Former President Calvin Coolidge commemorated the tree with a plaque in 1929.

Orlando resident Jillian McClung said she was deeply saddened over the loss of a piece of history: "Very few things stood the test of time the way the Senator had," she said. "It was truly a breathtaking local treasure, and it is disheartening to know someone has taken that away from future generations."
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Rebeldon

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It's sad, for sure. But I think people need to get a little perspective...

"Burn in hell, you horror of a human," one person told Barnes, while another wrote, "I hope you get some 'jail house justice' in Seminole County Jail."

stephendare

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It's sad, for sure. But I think people need to get a little perspective...

"Burn in hell, you horror of a human," one person told Barnes, while another wrote, "I hope you get some 'jail house justice' in Seminole County Jail."

Southerners, in general, are pretty passionate about their trees.
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subro

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This story is almost a year old. They have replaced the tree although it may take some time to grow back...

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-05-22/news/os-big-tree-park-seminole-20120522_1_big-tree-park-baldcypress-senator-tree

Clone of burned 'Senator' tree to be planted at Big Tree Park
6:06 p.m. EST, May 22, 2012 | By Martin E. Comas, Orlando Sentinel

The Senator is gone, but Big Tree Park near Longwood will soon have a 40-foot-tall offspring of the
ancient bald cypress tree that caught fire and collapsed in January.

Several clones of the Senator were produced about 15 years ago when foresters took cuttings from the
3,500-year-old Senator and planted some of them at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

On Tuesday, Seminole County commissioners agreed to spend about $7,000 to buy one of the cloned
trees from the university early next year and plant it at the park as part of a memorial to The Senator.
County officials said they plan to hold a ceremony to celebrate the planting.

"We want to put it in a part of the park that is suitable for a bald cypress," said Steve Waring, the
county's parks and recreation manager. "Hopefully, it will last 3,500 years."

Standing at 118 feet, and with a diameter of nearly 18 feet, The Senator had been a tourist attraction
for decades, awing visitors to Big Tree Park.

But on Jan. 16, the ancient tree went up in flames. About a month later, the Seminole County Sheriff's
Office arrested Sara Barnes, 26, and charged her with setting the fire. Barnes said she burned the tree
because she needed light to see the drugs she was using, according to authorities. She is free on bond
while awaiting trial.

Commissioner Bob Dallari praised the effort to acquire and move the cloned tree to Big Tree Park.
"Something tragic happened to one of the oldest bald cypress trees in the world," he said. "But now we
have an actual descendant of that tree. And we can let everyone know about the tree and what
happened. ... Science is actually now prolonging the life of The Senator."

Commissioners agreed to install nearly $60,000 worth of fencing around the remaining stump and
saplings of The Senator; Lady Liberty, another bald cypress at the park estimated at 2,000 years old;
the cloned tree after it's planted; and the park itself.

County officials said they hope to reopen Big Tree Park in coming months after workers remove
remnants of The Senator.






stephendare

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you can't 'replace' a tree that is older than three thousand years, subbro.

This isnt a case of landscape architecture.
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buckethead

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A gros missalocation of lumber.

subro

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you can't 'replace' a tree that is older than three thousand years, subbro.

This isnt a case of landscape architecture.

Well, you can, it will just take three thousand years. I was being sarcastic. Although I am impressed that they planted a clone of the original.

avonjax

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you can't 'replace' a tree that is older than three thousand years, subbro.

This isnt a case of landscape architecture.
It took mere hours for over 3000 years of growth to be destroyed. I can completely understand why the people of Central Florida are upset. I finally visited the tree for the first time about 3 years ago and went back several times. I took some pictures thank goodness. When you think about all the events that have taken place on earth in that tree's lifetime, it's kind of staggering. The tree was around over a thousand years before Jesus.
There was a cool sign at the park that was a reminder of some of the major world events that transpired while the tree stood in a swamp near Orlando.
The Senator was estimated to be the 5th oldest tree in the world.

mbwright

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She needs to pay off the bill for the replacement, at about 1$ per hour of hard labor.  I'm glad there are clone of that great tree.

BridgeTroll

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It's sad, for sure. But I think people need to get a little perspective...

"Burn in hell, you horror of a human," one person told Barnes, while another wrote, "I hope you get some 'jail house justice' in Seminole County Jail."

Southerners, in general, are pretty passionate about their trees.

Jail time for burning a tree??  Outrageous!  The punishment should fit the crime... (unless you are tagging)
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

stephendare

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I totally agree, bridge troll.

It should fit the crime.  Except that I think this idea should be applied to taggers as well.
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Jason

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you can't 'replace' a tree that is older than three thousand years, subbro.

This isnt a case of landscape architecture.

Well, you can, it will just take three thousand years. I was being sarcastic. Although I am impressed that they planted a clone of the original.


I remember hearing that the COJ plants the offspring of our own Treaty Oak all over town.