“…you said in your presentation Missouri doesn’t have old trees any more. Does that mean Missouri doesn’t have big trees?” — Lucas
Does Missouri Have Big Trees
What I said was Missouri has experience re-establishing natural communities and local ecosystems because at the turn of the 1900, most of Missouri’s trees were cut down for the railroad expansion out west. The trees were used for railroad ties and whiskey barrels. The world’s largest saw mill was in Grandin, Missouri.
At the same time, Missouri’s wildlife populations were hunted out of extinction; wild turkey, grouse, river otters among other species have been re-introduced over the past decades.
During the 1930s, both the federal government and state of Missouri made a concerted effort to replant Missouri’s forests. The effort created Missouri’s Department of Conservation and USDA Forest Service’s Mark Twain National Forest, both organizations that continue the restoration work.
Having said all that, let me share with you that there are still “big trees” in Missouri on private property. I personally saw one at our local recycling center, reminding me of the concept of a tree of life.
The main trunk was a good 7-8 feet across. I tried to count the tree rings but lost my way, this tree was very old.
The size of this tree qualifies for the very technical term “humongous.”
Except for the sequoia trees in California Muir woods, I can’t recall seeing trees this big in North America.
I’m sure there is a reason why it was cut down but I can’t help but think what a shame.