The Survivor Tree is a Pond Cypress (Taxodium ascendens) situated within Shangri La. For over 1,200 years, this ancient tree has been nurtured by the waters of Adams Bayou that flow through the middle of Orange. This resilient tree, not normally found in Texas, has “survived” centuries of diseases, axes, and storms including the most recent devastation from Hurricane Rita in 2005 as well as Hurricane Ike in 2008.
Dr. Ira Nelson, of the University of Southwestern Louisiana, previously determined that the Survivor Tree was approximately 1,200 years old by counting the growth rings of a core sample. This means that Shangri La’s tree was here long before the state of Texas, existed long before the founding of the United States of America, was mature when Christopher Columbus was born, and is even older than famous historical figures like Shakespeare and Galileo.
The Survivor Tree received its distinctive name in 1998 when Shangri La’s Nature Classroom hosted a school contest to name this special tree. In 1998 and again in 2003, it was certified as a Champion Tree through The Texas Big Tree Registry.
Today, visitors are able to see The Survivor Tree up close as they travel via Shangri La’s Outpost Tour along Adams Bayou.
To learn more about how the Survivor Tree was named, click here.