ghost forest
n. A stand of dead trees, particularly one surrounded by water; a stand of trees submerged in water.

Example Citations:
All across southern Louisiana, there are groves of dead cypress trees, known as ghost forests, which have been killed off by encroaching salt water.
—Elizabeth Kolbert, "Watermark," The New Yorker, February 27, 2006

Brian Atwater docks our canoe in an area where tree roots poke through the low walls of the riverbank. These roots are evidence of ghost forest, ancient trees that used to grow here until powerful earthquakes buckled the Earth, dropping land and trees below sea level. Saltwater from the Pacific flowed in, eventually killing the forest.
—"Profile: Tsunami that struck the Pacific Northwest hundreds of years ago," NPR: Morning Edition, May 4, 2005

Earliest Citation:
This is not the nature of the shadowy trees of the ghost forest of Clear Lake. When the lava dam that blocked the McKenzie River was formed, the rising water slowly covered large trees growing along the banks. Those are now submerged and can be seen in the depths of the lake. Because of the cold water, the gentle currents and mineral free nature of the lake, these trees have been preserved and form what is certainly Oregon's oldest forest.
—E. R. Cross,"Diving in Clear Lake in Oregon," Skin Diver, May 1, 1985

Related Words:

Categories: