BLADEN CO., N.C. (WTVD) -- Some of the oldest known trees in the world can be found in Bladen County.
David Stahle, a professor from Arkansas, identified a tree on the Black River as the oldest known Bald Cypress tree in the world.
The tree is at least 2,624 years old. It sits in a forest among other bald cypress trees that have been around for more than 2,000 years. Bald cypress trees are the fifth oldest tree species known to science.
Stahle said his research was set out in the hopes of finding some trees that were a few hundred years old. Thus, his discovery blew him away.
"Very old trees are often one-offs--a few lone survivors, but this is an intact ancient forest," Stahle told Spectrum News. "When you are in that forest, you are surrounded by ancient trees. You are in one of the greatest old-growth forests in the world. It is hard to find a place that is truly natural and hasn't been altered by human activity. But the Black River is as close as you can get."
He said now he hopes future research and preservation will follow.
Some of the world's oldest trees found in Bladen County