The Morris Pine Tree located in the Levi Wilcoxon Demonstration Forest south of Hamburg did not survive the weekend storms.
The pine tree has been a roadside stop for people over the years as well as a place for locals to visit. When the news that the tree had fallen hit social media on Saturday morning several people began posting pictures of their visits to the tree while it was still standing.
In 2007 an article published by University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Office said the tree was a Loblolly Pine, the type of tree selected as the state tree in 1939.
The article stated that the Morris Pine was one of the few virginal trees of the Arkansas forest left standing. The article said that almost all of the trees of the virginal Arkansas forest are gone, but “fortunately a few were preserved in the Levi Wilcoxon Demonstration Forest in Ashley County near Hamburg.”
The article also references the Morris Pine, and at that time the tree had a circumference of 14.5 feet, a diameter 4.6 feet and a height of 117 feet and was thought to be about 300 years old.
“This remnant stand is all that remains of the giants foresters described a century ago that routinely reached 140 feet tall with a diameter of more than 5.5 feet,” the article said.
The Morris Pine is just 13 feet shorter than what’s known as Arkansas’s “Champion Loblolly” pine tree located in Howard County that stands at 143 feet. According to a news article published by the Arkansas Democrat Gazzette in 2018, the Howard County tree is had a 72-foot crown and 178-inch trunk.
The Native Tree’s Society’s webpage says that the Morris Pine was named after Louis Morris who was a long time company employee who grew up near the tree.
Other names found online for the pine include the “Monarch Pine” and the “Mattoon Pine” after Wilbur Mattoon, a noted USDA Forest Service researcher and educator. Most sources state that it was named in 1950 as the Morris Pine.
A sign on the tree said the tree stood at 130 feet tall, and measured 164 feet around and was 62.7 inches in diameter.