What are all the dead trees in the everglades?

Ok, bare with me on the basics here. The everglades is the large swamp in the south of Florida, or is it? Turns out the everglades is actually a large slow moving river, often referred to as the river of grass. It is the widest river in North America, not the widest in the world. We learned this on an air boat ride at holiday park, but that is a different story.

One of the first questions about South Florida to occur to me after we moved here is, what are all the dead trees in the everglades. If you look around while driving, particularly in the populated areas the “swamp” is filled with white, branch-less tree trunks planted right next to each other. My assumption was that they were waterlogged trees, trees that had just gotten too much water and then died. I was okay going forward with my hypothesis, happy in my ignorance until my kids asked. I am not one to share what might be false beliefs on my part so off we went to ask the googles.

Turns out all those trees are Melaleuca trees. The same stuff found in all these products They are native to Australia and being a water thirsty tree were brought here to drain the everglades. Well we are wiser now then we use to be, or at least more conscience of all the things we have done to harm the environment and the local and state governments have started a campaign to rid the everglades of this invasive species. The  acres of barren tree trunks you see standing tall are actually trees that have been killed off to stop their spread. A combination of methods are used to kill these trees, but rarely are they cut down. Further East when you see these trees they tend to still have their foliage. I assume that these trees are on private land that has yet to be developed, or not in danger of spreading further into the glades and as such have been spared, but I did mention earlier in this article that my assumptions are sometimes wrong.

 

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