Back where the waters of East Texas harbor secrets and beauty lies one of the state’s greatest natural wonders. Here, lying hidden among the nearly still waters of Adam’s Bayou stands the aptly named Survivor Tree. This miraculous Pond Cypress tree has been conservatively dated at over 1200 years old. It guards the silent waterway deep in Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center in Orange, Texas. Over 250 acres in size, the beautiful facility houses hundreds of plants species and wildlife in an area more similar in landscape to Southwestern Louisiana than the cactus-encumbered Texan landscape of imagination.
Southwest Louisiana is the more normal home of the tree that’s closely related to the redwoods of California, which make the long lifespan even more surprising. For centuries, the spectacular tree has survived fires, storms, encroachment and most recently, the unimaginable devastation wrought by Hurricane Rita in 2005. Typical of the many secret places in East Texas, a visit to the old tree is only possible by boat and this image was captured by Jennifer and Maddie Warren on a sultry afternoon.
Think about it. Before the first castles were built in England this tree was already growing. It certainly gives you pause for thought, especially if you don’t think you have the time to visit the tree that has withstood time.