The majesty of Mother Nature cannot be disputed. Creator of all natural wonders in our world; she’s responsible for the mountains, oceans, lakes, jungles, forests and beaches.
Perhaps one of mother nature’s most grandiose and ingenious creations, and personal favourite of ours, is the tree.
Home to whole host of animals and insects, producer of oxygen, in-taker of carbon dioxide and producer of fruit and nuts; it is a protector of all living beings in one way or another.
Today we’ll take a look at a few trees that stand out in history for their longevity, size, beauty, environmental prowess or pure abnormality. We hope this post inspires people to pay more attention to our leafy friends and show appreciation where it’s due.
Sunland Big Baobab
Baobab trees are a magnificent sight and one that many of us Westerners are unlikely to have experienced in our lives. Located on the savannas of sub-Saharan African, their great, hulking trunks are certainly memorable for those new to them.
One particularly significant Baobab tree, believed to be the largest and oldest of these bulbous trees (estimated to be over 1,700 years-old) is located in South Africa on Sunland Farm. As a popular tourist destination this particular tree is known for far more than its age or size. Hidden within the 33-food-diameter and incredibly bulbous trunk is a pub and wine cellar that can accommodate up to 60 people.
Now that’s a tree everyone can get excited about!
Located in Sequoia National Park in California, the General Sherman tree is famed for being the largest tree in the world, by volume. This partly dead Giant Sequoia tree has been stuck by lightening so often that the topmost part of it is now dead. And yet, the tree lives on nearer its base, continuing to grow outwards rather than upwards. Believed to be between 2,300 to 2,700 years old it towers some 83 meters tall and is more than 30 meters (and growing) in diameter at its base.
If that’s not impressive then I don’t know what is!
The Paulownia tomentosa, shown above, also known as the foxglove or empress tree, was named because of the foxglove-like flowers which explode from its branches each year. That’s not all this tree is known for though.
Heralded as the fastest-growing tree in existence, this astonishing species can grow a whopping 6 meters in its first year as a sapling and as much as 30 centimeters in its first three weeks alive.
Originating from Western and Central China, this tree now grows all over the US. What’s more, it produces up to four times more oxygen than any of tree species in existence, so we better protect this guy if we want to keep on breathing!
The oldest tree ever recorded is around 5,200 years old. The bristlecone pine, nicknamed Prometheus, resided at Mt Wheeler in Nevada until 1963 when it was chopped down by a geologist studying trees in the area. When counted, it was found that there were 4,876 rings in its trunk, however, as a result of the harsh environment surrounding the tree it is believed its age lies somewhere around 5,200 years old. Despite this, 4,867 rings still makes the record for the oldest tree ever to have lived.
Tree of Life
This may not be the largest, the oldest or the fastest growing tree in the world, but it’s almost certainly the most water deprived and lonely. Coiling its roots into the sand of the desolate Bahrain desert, miles and miles from any other life or water source, this wonderous tree is truly a spectacle. Key to its survival is a tap root reaching 35 meters into the ground to an underground aquifer.
Local folklore tells the story of how this 400-year-old tree grows where the Garden of Eden once sat. Who knows, maybe they know something we don’t!
Growing in a churchyard in Santa Aria del Tule in Mexico, this 2000-year-old Montezuma cypress tree has been on the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites for over 20 years. What’s unique about this tree is its insanely stout trunk which makes it the widest tree on the planet with a total circumference of over 40 meters.
Meaning it takes around 30 people’s arm spans to encircle the whole thing. What’s more, we’re not the only ones to marvel at its stoutness throughout history, both the Aztecs and Spanish explorers from the West noted it in history books.
Clocking in at over 3,000 years old, this European Yew tree, situated in a churchyard in Perthshire, Scotland, is thought to be the oldest in the UK. Not only famed for being ancient, this tree has recently undergone a sex change. As far as anybody remembers this ancient tree has been male, however, recently a cluster of three red berries were found to be growing on one of its branches. As berries only grow on female yews, the working hypothesis is that the switch was because of environmental stress.
What’s interesting is the rest of the tree remains male, so this Yew is potentially both male and female now?!
Socotra Dragon Trees
This alien looking tree grows on the island of Socotra just off the coast of Yemen. Dubbed as the Dragon Blood tree because of the dark red resin which seeps from it when cut, these trees resemble inside-out umbrellas or peculiar giant mushrooms. Unfortunately, this unique species of tree is dying out at the hands of climate change which is drying up the land.
Banyan trees are perhaps among the most interesting trees on the planet and the Thimmamma Marrimanu, based in Andhra Pradesh, India, is certainly no exception. Covering more than 5 acres this appears to be a forest of single trees growing individually, however, this is not the case. Banyan trees possess aerial prop roots which grow downwards from the tree’s canopy into the ground. This colossal tree is thought to have over 1,000 of them making it the largest banyan tree (or forest) in existence.
The story goes that this tree sprouted where Lady Thimmamma burned herself on her late husbands’ funeral pyre in the 13th century. Nowadays, the tree attracts tourists and childless couples who believe visiting and paying respect to Thimmamma will result in pregnancy.
This multi-colored species of tree may look like the work of some contemporary psychedelic artist, and yet, is actually another creation from the magnificent mother nature. As their bark sheds, Rainbow Eucalyptus trees reveal coloured patches including greens, browns, purples and oranges. Native to the tropical forests of Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, these trees are now grown across many parts of the world. Perhaps most notable is the “painted forest” in Maui, Hawaii.
This brings our list of record-holding and outstanding trees to an end. We hope you learned a little more about the majesty of Mother Nature’s creations and enjoyed reading this post.
Join us next time for more content on the environment and nature!
Thanks for reading 🙂