Challengers - Serenoa repens, Nyssa biflora & Ilex cassie

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addy
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Challengers - Serenoa repens, Nyssa biflora & Ilex cassie

Post by addy » Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:08 pm

I have successfully put Orange County on the State champion trees map with three challengers all in the Tosohatchee WMA. This site contains impressively intact old growth areas of Cypress-Tupelo floodplain swamp, hydric hammock and wet flatwoods. I know there are plenty more out there. Photos are all from the DOF. I asked them once if their champion tree photos are public domain and never got a response so I assume no one cares.

Serenoa repens:

http://championtrees.freshfromflorida.c ... etail/1181
repens1584.jpg
A Serenoa expert from a FB group I'm part of thinks that this usually low saturated (3-5 feet) long-lived palm's extremely vertical form is due to high local water tables. I have noticed that tall individuals are usually found at the ecotones between upland and much lower areas. I have since located a colony with a 20' tall shoot that is located near the base of an extreme (by peninsular Florida standards) drop off.

Nyssa biflora:

http://championtrees.freshfromflorida.c ... etail/1202
biflora1591.jpg
Located adjacent to a main channel of a flashy creek. The buttress height is about 6' so presumably that is the normal maximum water level.

Ilex cassine:

http://championtrees.freshfromflorida.c ... etail/1207
cassine1575.jpg
Here's one to inspire debate about how to deal with split trunk forms. From this photo the pith lines look to converge above the grade. However this area is under several feet of water for most of the year and if you follow the link and look at the other DOF photos of the trunk it appears where the pith lines meet is below the normal water level and the trunks don't really neatly converge but rather weave together in a mass of twisted roots and possibly rotted out spots. This species is also known for its ability of grow and weave horizontally when forced to, so it seems to me a total toss up to guess how this particular form came about. I have encountered individuals whose trunks run horizontally through the mud for 5 or 6 feet before even breaking above the grade.

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Challengers - Serenoa repens, Nyssa biflora & Ilex cassi

Post by Larry Tucei » Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:40 pm

Wow that Palm can't be Saw Palmetto must be something else. I have never seen this form and having been to Florida I've only seen them low stemmed at 12' tall over 100 years old. The Holly looks like Ilex opaca ? I believe two trunks have fused together and sometimes is difficult to tell like in this case. Larry

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addy
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Re: Challengers - Serenoa repens, Nyssa biflora & Ilex cassi

Post by addy » Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:53 am

This paper describes mathematical genetic modeling that was used to determine that saw palmetto clonal colonies can reach 10,000 or more years in age:

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/c5da/6 ... bc3a86.pdf

I back calculated form published growth rates and concluded that at the low end an individual rhizome could easily exceed several hundred years in age. Some of the rhizomes have this extremely weathered aged appearance.

We do have Ilex opaca in my area but only in the higher areas. Cassine is the only one that can survive in the deep swamps, in the deep cypress ponds they can be seen spreading horizontally over the open spots where nothing else can reach. There's another cassine north of there that I hope the DOF gets to sometime, I measured it at 129 points, it definitely has a single trunk that splits into three equal sized trunks with a 90 degree bend like a candelabra.

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Larry Tucei
Posts: 2017
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:44 am

Re: Challengers - Serenoa repens, Nyssa biflora & Ilex cassi

Post by Larry Tucei » Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:24 am

Look forward to more of your posts from that area. Larry

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