One the oldest trees in Arkansas, the Morris Pine, has fallen.
The Morris Pine Tree — which is located in the Levi Wilcoxon Demonstration Forest south of Hamburg — did not survive the weekend storms.
In 2007 an article published by Univeristy of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Office said the tree was a Loblolly Pine Tree, which was a type of tree selected as the state tree in 1939.
The article stated that the Morris Pine was one of the few of the virginal trees of the Arkansas forest left standing.
The article said that almost all of the trees of the virginal Arkansas forest are gone, but “fortunately a few were preserved in the Levi Wilcoxon Demonstration Forest in Ashley County near Hamburg.”
The U of A article also references the Morris Pine, which at that time the tree had a circumference of 14.5 feet, a diameter 4.6 feet and a height of 117 feet and was thought to be about 300 years old.
“This remnant stand is all that remains of the giants foresters described a century ago that routinely reached 140 feet tall with a diameter of more than 5.5 feet,” the article said.
The Morris Pine was just 13 feet shorter than what’s known as Arkansas’ “Champion Loblolly” pine tree located in Howard County that stands at 143 feet.
According to a news article published by the Arkansas Democrat Gazzette in 2018, the Howard County tree has a 72-foot crown and 178-inch trunk.
The Native Tree’s Society’s webpage said that the Morris Pine was named after Louis Morris, who was a long time company employee who grew up near the tree.
Other names found online for the pine include the “Monarch Pine” and the “Mattoon Pine” after Wilbur Mattoon, a noted USDA Forest Service researcher and educator. Most sources state that it was named in 1950 as the Morris Pine.
A sign on the tree said the tree stood at 130 feet tall, and measured 164 feet around and was 62.7 inches in diameter.
A representative at Weyerhaeuser verified that the company owned the tree at one time, but said he thought it might have been donated in recent years.