Heading to Columbia
Before heading North West we take a detour to see the Angel Oak tree. It’s a Live Oak, a native specie of the East coast. Estimated to be 400 years old, this tree is 20m high and gives shade to an area of 1580m². The trunk circumference is 7.7m and the longest branch is 27m. Oaks life expectancy is 500/700 years.
On the way to Columbia we stop at Colonial Dorchester Historic State Park. The place used to be a colonial village founded back in 1696. Only the church’s bell tower, cemetery, and the fort ruins remain. The Fort was protecting a backup powder magazine in case the French would attack the coast and come inland.
South East of Columbia, Congaree National Park is the largest old-growth bottomland hardwood forest in the US. This means the largest virgin and old floodplain forest made of leaf trees. Note that the area around the park is massively logged. Thus, the trees in the park are of great age and reach record heights. Minimal changes in a floodplain forest create differences on how long areas are flooded and allow diverse associations of tree species to grow. The main species there are the Bald Cypress, the American Beech, the Water Tupelo, the PawPaw, the Loblolly Pine amd the American Holly.