4
| Humor |

Florida's Oldest Tree Burned Down By Woman Smoking Meth Beneath It

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

The 118-foot, 3,500-year-old bald cypress tree known as "The Senator" in Longwood, Florida, was not only the state's oldest tree, and the fifth oldest tree in the whole country, but also the largest tree of any type east of the Mississippi. To put the tree's age in perspective, it's estimated it first began growing shortly after 1500 B.C.

But now it's gone, and a meth-addicted woman has been arrested for burning it down.

The Senator mysteriously burned to the ground on January 16th. The strange fire burned the tree from the inside out, and authorities were baffled.

Now, 26-year-old Sara Barnes has been arrested for the fire. Barnes said she regularly hid out in the Senator's park to get high on meth. She was getting high underneath the Senator when she lit a fire so she could see better. The fire got out of control, and Barnes fled. Though, not before she took a few photos and videos of the fire on her cellphone.

Barnes apparently told several of her friends about the fire, and eventually one of them tipped off police. Barnes admitted to burning the tree, and police found meth, and a glass pipe in her apartment.

She's been charged with intentional burning of land, a third degree felony, as well as additional drug charges.

The Senator is survived by its nearby neighbor, "Lady Liberty," an 89 foot-high Cyprus believed to be 2,000 years old.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.