"The Senator was the biggest and oldest Pond Cypress tree in the world, located in Big Tree Park, Longwood, Florida. At the time of its demise, it was 125 feet (38 m) tall, with a trunk diameter of 17.5 feet (5.3 m). The tree was destroyed by a fire on January 16, 2012."
"The Seminole Indians and other Native American Indians who lived throughout Central Florida used this tree as a landmark. In the late 19th century, the tree attracted visitors even though much of the surrounding land was swamp; reaching the tree was done by leaping from log to log. A walkway was later constructed by the Works Progress Administration. In 1925, a hurricane destroyed the top of the tree, reducing its original height of 165 feet (50 m) to a height of 118 feet (36 m). The Senator was named for Florida State Senator Moses Overstreet, who donated the tree and surrounding land to Seminole County for a park in 1927. In 1929, former president Calvin Coolidge visited The Senator and dedicated the site with a commemorative bronze plaque. The plaque and portions of an iron fence were stolen by vandals in 1945 and never recovered."
*Fire and collapse
On January 16, 2012, a fire was reported at the top of the Senator tree, which burned from the inside out, "like a chimney." Firefighters arrived to try to extinguish the blaze, but the tree collapsed. The charred remains of the tree now stand only 20 to 25 feet (6.1 to 7.6 m) tall.
On Tuesday, February 28, 2012, The Division of Forestry said they arrested 26 year old Sara Barnes in relation to the fire of The Senator. Barnes said she regularly went to the tree site to do drugs and lit a fire that night so that she could see, but that it got out of control. Officials said that they found images of the fire being started on Barnes' laptop and on her cellphone. When an arrest warrant was served at her home she was also charged with possession of methamphetamine.
Some people believe that the tree is still alive. They have spotted saplings at the base of the big tree. Officials also said that the tree was cloned at one point, and they are searching to bring the clones back
(Although that majestic tree MAY still be technically alive at it's base with Cypress "knees" growing from it's root system, it is now forever destroyed by ONE meth head with an obvious agenda. The tree is no longer the tallest Pond Cypress in the world. I detest all human beings who have this type of mentality. Too bad a nice big Florida style lightning bolt didn't zap her prior to her actions. In my opinion, the world would be a better place without people like her. Sorry if that offends some of you out there).