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Fire suppressed root of Nyssa biflora

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Item information

Fire suppressed root of Nyssa biflora
Forest fires -- Environmental aspects
Roots (Botany)
Swamp black-gum (Nyssa biflora)
Original Format:
Lantern slide
Black-and-white slides
3.25 x 4 in.
Item identifier:
Wells, B. W. (Bertram Whittier), 1884- more info on Wells, B. W. (Bertram Whittier), 1884- 
Created Date:
circa to
Fire suppressed root of Nyssa biflora. Fire repressed specimen of Nyssa biflora over 50 years old. From Natural Gardens (pages 32-34): "The swamp gum (Nyssa biflora) and the tupelo gum (N. aquatica) are the only trees of this genus adapted to the water-covered soil. They differ somewhat in choice of habitat, the tupelo gum tolerating the deepest water while the swamp gum ranges into the shallower water and may occasionally be seen in the shrub bogs, even surviving as a relict in grass-sedge bogs. The gum forests are very abundant along the margins of the coastal plain rivers. Because of the broad leaves produced luxuriantly in their crowns these forests are very dark below, a condition tending to hold in check the minor vegetation which might otherwise enter. Both of the gums prominently exhibit the character of swollen trunk bases (Fig. 21), a character which arouses one's curiosity as to its significance. It is very easy to observe on a cut base that the wood ring number is the same as that above the base. The enlargement is thus due to the increased thickness of the rings which is a response to the proximity of the water. Since the soil and subsoil of most swamps are of a soft silt or muck nature, it is readily apparent that these wide flaring bases with their still wider spreading roots give the trees a degree of anchorage which they would not otherwise have. In the larger trees the bases are hollow." Published in: A Southern Upland Grass-Sedge Bog, North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station
Close-up views
Lantern slides
Big Savannah (N.C.)
Digital Project:
B. W. Wells