DIY





Rescuing Wood from the World’s Fifth Oldest Tree


| 1/10/2017 10:54:00 AM



Rescuing historically significant wood and turning so-called “waste” wood into works of art are both passions of Florida sawyer and artisan Robert “Bob” Hughes. For 20 years, Bob and his son Tim have operated their wood salvaging and woodworking shop, The Ole General Store, with a portable sawmill and an eye for finding purpose in every fallen or damaged tree.

Bob and Tim Hughes

Today, the family-owned “wood-rescue” business specializes in reclaimed wood and custom milling of rescued Florida hardwoods, but the business has grown over the years to also offer lumber sales, kiln drying, slab wood cutting, river-recovered wood, exotic lumber and more. In recent times, Bob has raced the trash truck to recover hurricane destroyed Cuban Mahogany, rescue African Mahogany from the burn pile, uncover long sunken river logs, and more. However, Bob’s rescue of a lifetime has been the recovery of heritage wood after the destruction of one of the world’s oldest and largest living trees.

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When “The Senator Tree” began its life near what is now Longwood, Florida, about 3,500 years ago, King Tut was 50 years away from occupying the Egyptian throne. Throughout its storied history, the large cypress has been admired by people from all walks of life.



By the turn of the 21st Century, the majestic old giant had become recognized as the world’s fifth longest living tree and had been a local landmark for hundreds of years because of its massive size. All that history could have ended when someone lit a fire inside the tree.



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