This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The following paragraph taken from the Press, of July 16th brings to my recollection a fallen pine tree I saw back of the little settlement of Green Cove Springs, on the St. John's river, in the State of Florida. The tree mentioned in the paragraph and the one described by me below may have have fallen from the same cause. The clipping says: "A young Chippewa hunter was shooting squirrels in the woods that border Lake Huron, in Ontario, when a large pine fell upon him, knocking him down and crushing his leg. He could not rise nor remove the tree which was lying across his broken leg. To lie there and starve to death seemed all that was left to him. In his dilemma he took out his knife, cut off his leg, bound it up with his sash, dragged himself along the ground to his canoe, and paddled home to his wigwam on a distant island. There the care of his wounds was completed, and he is still alive".
The Florida tree, as I saw it, with the entire length of its trunk closely applied to the perfectly even surface of the ground, had evidently but recently fallen. About seventy-five or eighty feet away from it, and running in a parallel direction, was a sluggish stream with marshy banks densely covered with a variety of trees and shrubs. Pine trees usually have tap roots, but this specimen was an exception. The root corresponded with the ordinary tap root in thickness, but instead of descending directly from the base of the trunk as is its usual habit, it turned at once laterally and ran toward the brook mentioned, which it doubtless reached. The ground from the tree to the brook fell in a very gradual slope, and as this great root grew just beneath the surface, the tree in falling raised many feet of it out of its shallow bed into view. As far as exposed the bark covering it closely resembled that of the trunk.
It remains a mystery to me how the great weight of this tree's seventy feet of trunk could have so long maintained an upright position. When it fell it must have been with but slight noise as there was apparently so little to resist its downward movement. A person standing near it in the line of its descent would have had no warning and death would have come to such an one as it did to the lower section of the Indian's leg as quickly as by a stroke of lightning or a well aimed pistol ball.