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Florida's Oldest Tree Burned Down By Woman Smoking Meth Beneath It

Categories: WTF Florida
thesenator.jpg
via WikiCommons
The 118-foot, 3,500-year-old bald cypress tree known as "The Senator" in Longwood, Florida, was not only the state's oldest tree, and the fifth oldest tree in the whole country, but also the largest tree of any type east of the Mississippi. To put the tree's age in perspective, it's estimated it first began growing shortly after 1500 B.C. But now it's gone, and a meth-addicted woman has been arrested for burning it down.

The Senator mysteriously burned to the ground on January 16th. The strange fire burned the tree from the inside out, and authorities were baffled.

Now, 26-year-old Sara Barnes has been arrested for the fire. Barnes said she regularly hid out in the Senator's park to get high on meth. She was getting high underneath the Senator when she lit a fire so she could see better. The fire got out of control, and Barnes fled. Though, not before she took a few photos and videos of the fire on her cellphone.

sarabarnes.jpg
Sara Barnes
Barnes apparently told several of her friends about the fire, and eventually one of them tipped off police. Barnes admitted to burning the tree, and police found meth, and a glass pipe in her apartment.

She's been charged with intentional burning of land, a third degree felony, as well as additional drug charges.

The Senator is survived by its nearby neighbor, "Lady Liberty," an 89 foot-high Cyprus believed to be 2,000 years old.

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75 comments
Ahsum Sauss
Ahsum Sauss

What I find even harder to believe is that there are people in this thread defending her!!! Wonder how they'd talk if she had done a B&E or light their house's on fire? The Holier than thou sentiment would probably fade away real quick. Drugs! What a waste of humanity!

garage equipment
garage equipment

I feel bad for what on the tree that well known for being the oldest tree in the city and fifth on the whole country. It hard to preserve a tree for a long time like this. The best thing to do now is planting more trees.

Bicyclerepairclinics
Bicyclerepairclinics

Couple things:

Please relearn the definition of the word "unbelievable". I know what hyperbole is; but this is just bad writing. It instantly makes the reader not want to take you seriously. Many unbelievable horrors await future generations. Not seeing this tree didn't make the list. Lengthy prison time? There are so many problems with that proposal that I do not know where to start and will not even

Guy662
Guy662

Oh no, we lost a tree. What will we ever do without that big old tree? This is stupid news.

Kevin Altieri
Kevin Altieri

I wish we could Burn her down too, but only After she has to replace the tree with 3,500 new sapplings planted accross Florida! ... Stupid Meth Ho !

MONEYMOTIVATOR
MONEYMOTIVATOR

W are all retarded..thousands of trees are knocked down everyday for useless matierialistic needs that we crumple up and throw away when we are finished...all for the LOVE of money...and a human burns 1 down and it causes a commotion.  The LOVE needs to be directed to the earth and each other...our morals and values are so a$$backwards, we deserve whats coming to us...

Haitians kill trees
Haitians kill trees

The Catholic Church and dumb Haitians are trying to find more children to molest. So the Haitians are killing 100 year old oaks on the Notre Dame site. Typical.

Pedophile Haitian Priests
Pedophile Haitian Priests

Herald reports the Catholic Church and the non-English speaking Haitians are killing majestic oaks on NE 2nd Avenue so the church can bus in more customers.

The Haitians aren't poor enough? The Church wants more customers. So they killed 3 trees with another 25 to go.

Deport the Haitians. Prison for the pedophile Priests.

Killing 100+ year old oaks
Killing 100+ year old oaks

The Archdiocese of Miami is in the process of killing 20-25 majestic oaks on the Notre Dame site at NE 2nd Avenue and NE 62nd Street so it can build a bigger parking lot for it's Haitian non-English speaking customers. They are as addicted as Meth Heads.

Do Meth Heads seduce teenagers?

Hyde
Hyde

That was a pretty old tree...

Fay
Fay

selfish bitch,she should be burned!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous
Anonymous

Burn her? Seriously? It's a tree. I mean, I get it: it's old, historic—whatever. And, yeah, she's a drug addict. The whole thing is tragic and sad. But, it's a tree, people. She's a human being.Now don't get me wrong—I think the loss of this tree is awful. It was a link to the past, and not just by its age. In fact, I heard about this story on Facebook from a dear friend of mine. He commented about how his father, who died some years ago from ALS, used to take the family to see this tree. For him, a piece of his personal history was destroyed.And, it was an accident. Sure, an accident caused by stupidity and illegal activities, but not a spiteful act of vandalism. Furthermore, we—as a nation and as global citizens and consumers—intentionally destroy ancient sites, including trees, by the thousands every day in the normal course of "progress". I'm sure most of the glib, would-be executioners here would just as quickly chant the crowd frenzy "BURN 'EM" if this article were instead about how ancient trees were preventing the tapping of a rich oil reserve.So congratulations, bloggers. You stand for...well, nothing. You've learned to take sides. You recognize the status quo instinctively. You are a survivor. You recognize the popular sentiment. You know who is going to get voted off the island. You switch sides as part of the game as it suits you.Only this is not a game show. This is someone's daughter. This is our sister. The speed with which we turn on each other does not ensure our survival, but rather, our mutual destruction.

But "I'm just venting" -Anonymous

The Internet might afford you some anonymity, at least until the government has COMPLETELY obliterated our rights while we bicker among ourselves, but just like it takes one person to begin a mob stampede or a last-second-merge traffic jam, we are each always setting the bar for each other.

When people stand for nothing in-particular, they lack anchors to guide their behaviors. They allow mob mentality to guide them and then become capable of horrendous acts. Hitler knew this. He didn't start his genocidal campaign with the slogan, "burn the Jews". People would have recoiled in horror. He led the Nazi party down a path of ever-increasing hostilities, culminating in death camps, torture, and mass murder.

Your words have power. Think before you speak. If this young lady were tied to a tree (albeit a non-historical, non-ancient, everyday expendable tree) and you were handed the torch, would you set her afire and watch her agonizing and gruesome death? If you were alone? With a crowd of like-minded onlookers? If you were carrying out a state-mandated sentence?

I hope you answered "no" to all of these questions. If not, you are un-American, as cruel and unusual punishment is decidedly and expressly forbidden by the Bill of Rights. Of course, we threw that one out by example when we decided that torture during interrogation was acceptable.

We, as a society, don't erode overnight. Instead, we say things thoughtlessly, first to ourselves, then out loud. Then those voices gain chorus. Then we're burning young witches at the stake. The devil is in her. Get her.

Poison Ivy
Poison Ivy

That tree had far more value than she ever did. I say the bitch gets burned alive herself. The only way we can have a better future is if we eradicate the earth of the ignorant and stupid. I've seen people balance al sorts of drug habits perfectly so I have no pity for those assholes who let it consume their lives. Beautiful creation of nature's longevity has been destroyed because we live in a world where dumbasses are allowed to breath.

Deport Haitians, save oaks
Deport Haitians, save oaks

Haitians killed two 100+ year old majestic oak trees on the Notre Dame site. They are about to kill 25 more.

Deport Haitians. Save our majestic oaks.

Miss Penelope
Miss Penelope

yep, meth trumps everything. Stupid piece of crap.

Mbchuckster
Mbchuckster

Meth is a terrible drug!! To all you meth addics out there who might be reading this- STOP USEING THIS DRUG!!! In time you will loose all your teeth and look 20 years older than you are and have major health problems in the future. You loose friends ,family and possibly your life at a young age. As far as this woman. I'm just speechless. God help her.

Meat
Meat

The Lorax does not approve

Wolfgang73
Wolfgang73

I guarantee you that if you spent a week with this lady you would be begging to trade her in for the tree.

meth head vs ancient tree  

Rootstock1
Rootstock1

I concur with Linzy and would like to point out that this was an accident.  Also her use of meth is mostly unrelated to the incident as it was the fire she lit to see that started the burn. Granted if she wasn't trying to hide out she probably wouldn't have been there, but again this was an accident and I hope the judges look at the situation with reason.  If she had gotten methed out and chopped the tree down on purpose it would be more reasonable to make meth the issue and institute a harsh punishment for despicable behavior.  Lets not judge for we can't understand this young girls circumstances.  Undoubtedly she has some problems but her acts weren't malicious why should should we be so harsh on her.  Very sad to see this tree go -perhaps we can focus the feelings of loss towards an effort to preserve forests being deliberately logged?  The news is going to make a mockery and environmental issue out of this girl for one tree yet they wouldn't touch Georgia Pacific logging millions of acres in the Southeast with a 10' pole.  

Linzy30534
Linzy30534

This is a sad situation. I sympathize with the woman and her addiction and now her addiction has led to the demise of such a landmark. I hope if anything comes from her punishment that it's sobriety and she can one day respect the beautiful things that God has put here for us to enjoy. :)

Steve
Steve

she is 26?! she looks like she is 40.

vungfoo
vungfoo

rotfl, dude thats just too funny! Burn baby burn!Total-Privacy dot US

Steinkampm
Steinkampm

So sad. For all parties involved. I hate to see great trees go, especially when it is by stupidity. But then again, we all allow old tree resources to be destroyed daily, so we cannot just put all the blame on the misdirected addict. She stated that she frequented this location to smoke, should have been security in place to protect such an important resource.  

Dwight Gooden
Dwight Gooden

srsly bros you gotta chill on.  the lady's like just trying to get her tweak on.  nayhmsayin.  so what if she's smoking meth.  it effing feels good.  if it feels good do it.  who cares about a stupid tree anyways they ain't doing ish for me.

Brother Kevin
Brother Kevin

I am on my SMOKE break, and I am wondering if I am the only addict in recovery reading this string.I didn't burn a monument but did find forgiveness from SOME people I did burn. Now I AM AN ACTIVE PRODUCTIVE MEMBER OF SOCIETY TODAY.... thanks for not killing me... Sarah I pray you find God as you can understand Him,and the rooms of recovery

Ahsum Sauss
Ahsum Sauss

What's unbelievable is that you didn't finish your last sentence seeing that you seem to be an Ivy League Grad or something?

straywolf2u
straywolf2u

not one like.not one.sad post there guy662 is that your real name or what you hide behind when you make stupid comments?

Swertz
Swertz

It's a tree.  Really?  It's a tree that dates back 3800 years.  If you take any interest in science you would understand how priceless that tree was to unraveling the history of the climate cycles and ecosystem.

Poison Ivy
Poison Ivy

What if it's a children's hospital that gets burned down next time? What if it's an orhpanage that gets burned down next time? This time it was a tree. Something that was full of life and history, but you obviously don't feel it's worth a human life.

What do you think should be done when her and her kind end up killing innocent lives all because of her sad and weak habit?

Ahsum Sauss
Ahsum Sauss

Meth IS a terrible drug! You know what else is a terrible drug? Not knowing how to spell! Loose and lose are two distinct words. Also, "Useing" is not the correct spelling. Yes, I'm an a$$hole. An a$$hole that knows how to spell! Yeah me!!!!

Aldo Leopold
Aldo Leopold

“The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant, "What good is it?" If the land mechanism as a whole is good, then every part is good, whether we understand it or not. If the biota, in the course of aeons, has built something we like but do not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts? To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.” 

joe
joe

You aint doing shit for nobody either... What a worthless human being

yep
yep

 trees allow us to breathe oxygen...

Karenepoo
Karenepoo

I think she burned it down accidentally. Let's take all of the negative energy and funnel it into something good. Help people with addictions. Help the homeless. Help shelter animals. Help children in need. Plant a tree. You'll feel better. I know I do!

Anonymous
Anonymous

Fortunately for you, our justice system doesn't yet prosecute us for crimes we haven't yet committed; otherwise, you'd be guilty of thought-murder. And yes, no tree is worth a human life. Seems pretty self-evident to me.

punk anthropologist
punk anthropologist

that's why we need to exterminate all humans and destroy technology. I have never used technology in my life and i plan to keep it that way. i have been an anarchist since the day i was born, and i will never sell out. 

SmarterStrongerBetterThanYou
SmarterStrongerBetterThanYou

80% of the earths oxygen is produced by phytoplankton... The rest mostly grasses but for some thing to have made it threw so much just to burn up from meth is very unromantic. This forum is a good example that two people can be on opposite sides of an argument and both be wrong.

Dwight Gooden
Dwight Gooden

man isn't oxygen that channel on tv for chix.  i breathe air bro

Ahsum Sauss
Ahsum Sauss

You chastise technology, yet you post a response message on a discussion thread like this. Shame.

Lexstiletto
Lexstiletto

You are an exampleOf why 2012 will happen. You fucking pro technology fascist. Its ur fault the world will have asteroids hitting the world in 2012 because you would rather have robots rule the world then to smoke greens in ur backyard. You have obviously never farmedYour own food or lived off food stamps becauseYou sound a technology lovig rich bitch who hates freedom. Ive fucking lived off food stamps for 2 years so if 2012 happens im fucking self sustainable...you rely on technology tho so ur scrwed.

punk anthropologist
punk anthropologist

everyone who read your post is 200% dumber. you're a lier who doesnt know wut you're talking about. i've never used technology and i never will. i can prove it. call me up and we'll settle this first hand. 

Baker Matt89
Baker Matt89

If you never used technology than what the hell are you doing on here, you make everyone who just read this 20% dumber, think before you speak you just embarassed your self technology user, have a good life liar...

Punk Anthropologist
Punk Anthropologist

80% of the oxygen network is produced by lesbians... The rest mostly rape stories  

Punk Anthropologist
Punk Anthropologist

80% of the oxygen network is produced by lesbians... The rest mostly rape stories 

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