Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum

Living in primeval swamps

Posted: April 11, 2012 at 10:22 am Author: Westonbirt's learning and participation team

This Easter, Westonbirt’s learning and participation team have created two great family events, with an Easter Challenge (3 – 6 April) and an exploration of Jurassic Plants (10 – 12 April) on offer for families. Trails amongst the trees and craft activities make this the perfect spring day out – here’s a taste of some of the amazing tree facts you’ll find on the trails!

The swamp cypress is a tree that thrives in frequently flooded swamps where they have peculiar root growths known as ‘knees’, which rise above the water. It is mostly likely that these knees help provide support in the shifting currents and soggy ground.

Swamp cypress

Fossil evidence has been found dating from Triassic times (248 - 206 million years ago). Later in Cretaceous times between 90 – 70 million years ago, when a shallow sea flooded the central lands of North America, Kosmoceratops dinosaurs would have waded through the primeval swamps grazing on these trees.

The wood is water resistant, know as ‘wood eternal’ and usable prehistoric wood is still found in swamps today.

Useful links

Become a member of the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum

More about Westonbirt’s family events