Tree Hugger

TreeHuggerAlmost 300 years ago, on a cool crisp day, a pine cone fell from a tree, and gently hit the ground. Several days past and the pine cone opened and a small seed slowly slipped out and onto the ground. The seed sprouted and took root and began growing. It had to brave the weather and all other disasters that can befall a small seedling. It continued to grow silently as people moved into the area. Little did this tree know that one day, it would be a famous tree and people from far and wide would come to see just how much it had grown over the years.

Almost 160 years later, a man and his wife would move to Ashley County, Arkansas, where the pine tree grew. They would settle close to the tree and make their home and raise a family.  On April 20, 1876, Louie L. Morris, was born to James William Morris and Susan E. Sherrer. It would be almost 60 years before Louie L. Morris and this tree would become aware of each other. “Mr. Louie” traveled over several southern states for the Crossett Company surveying and buying timber, for over 40 years. As an honor to him for his service to the company, they named the tree “The Morris Pine” in his honor.

Today the tree still stands, majestic and tall, having withstood the barrages of man and nature for over 275 years. This little seed has grown to be a Giant Loblolly Pine, located in the Levi-Wilcoxin Forest and now stands over 116 feet tall. At one time it was over 130 feet tall, but due to the ice storms in Southeast Arkansas, it has lost some of its’ height. For many years, graduate forestry students from Yale University would come to Ashley County to study the tree and surrounding forest.


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