Twig’s Update: Arbuckle Creek Florida Old Growth Forest
Florida once had the largest population of the rarest bird species in the world the -- legendary Ivory-billed woodpecker (Campephilus principalis). These giant birds were considered extinct for decades due to clear-cut logging of the ancient Bald Cypress stands throughout the Southeast US. Arbuckle Creek is one of the last remaining Old growth cypress forest and has great potential of the Ivory-billed woodpecker existing there. These giant Cypress trees are perfect nesting sites for the legendary “Lord-God” birds.
Birds leave their nest hole in the swamp early in the morning and fly west to the Sand Ridge Pine Forest to feed on the Long-Horned beetle larvae (Ceranbycidae), their host food. This forest grows on the famed, rare sand ridge ecosystem of Central Florida, the only upland topography with an 80’ elevation ridge in the Florida peninsula. Dry lightning storms are common here, striking the pine tree tops which create dead tree trunks--a perfect host site for the beetles. This symbiotic relationship is just beginning to be documented.
My on-going studies of this old growth forest now include a partnership with HMI, the national leaders in the Arbor world. Together we are working toward the education, protection and preservation of this spectacular forest system.
As arborists we always want to keep an eye on the trees and forests, we work in. We may find rare forest systems that still exist.
“The greatest tragedy in nature is the extinction of a species,” James T. Tanner