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Very old bald Cypress trees in Congaree Swamp National Park

Making It Grow Radio Minute
SC Public Radio

You can easily see large majestic bald cypress trees if you walk the boardwalk at the Congaree National Park. But retired DNR wildlife biologist John Cely who has explored the Park extensively, you might enjoy his blogs (at Friends of the Congaree Swamp) had found large cypress inaccessible except by boat and took Professor Dave Stahle, the world’s expert on bald cypress, to that area. Professor Stahle took tree cores from the largest of those trees to get information on their age and the climate they had grown in for probably over a thousand years. The oldest cypress trees Dr. Stahle has found are in the Black River preserve in North Carolina and are over 2,000 years old. The size of bald cypress doesn’t necessarily indicate their age; ones that grow in nutrient poor wet soils grow slowly.

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Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.