Sep 19, 2013

Around The World: 4 Of The Most Amazing Trees In The World

picture of a wallpainting in a Laotian temple,...
Laotian temple, depicting the Bodhisattva Gautama (Buddha-to-be) before his enlightenment. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Trees figure prominently in the religion, mythology and folklore of many cultures.

For example, Buddhists maintain that Gautama Buddha meditated for 49 days in the shade of a Bodhi tree to achieve enlightenment.

Wall painting in Azerbaijan
The Celts so adored trees that they incorporated the concept of a "Tree of Life" into their religious practices.

Similar references can be found as far east as Azerbaijan, as shown in this 17th century depiction, left.

Needless to say, wherever one looks in mythology, he will find some reference to amazing trees.  The same is true in the real world.  Throughout the world, there are trees that amaze us due either to their age, their height or width, overall structure, or growth habits.

Here is a glimpse of 5 such trees, definite additions to any "must see" list:

1)  General Sherma/Giant Sequoia


Giant Sequoias only grow in Sierra Nevada, California.  They are the world's biggest trees in terms of volume.

At 275 feet tall, and 2,200 years old, General Sherman (pictured left) is the grand master of the Giant Sequoias. Dubbed the "Largest Living Thing on Earth, this behemoth adds enough wood each year to make a regular, 60-foot tall tree.

It is General Sherman's volume, however, that won it the title of the world's largest tree - 52,500 cubic feet of volume, to be exact!  This impressive figure ousted nearby neighbor and competitor, General Grant in 1921.

Now, that's a Tree of Life!






2) Pando the Quaking Giant, Utah's Wonder Tree


If it could talk, Pando the Quaking Giant might have something to say about General Sherman's title as the "Largest Living Thing on Earth."  Although this magnificent specimen photographs as if it is a beautiful grove of individual Quaking Aspen trees, it is actually a single living organism with a gigantic, underground root structure.

That's right, what one sees as tree trunks is more accurately described as stems - some 47,000 stems covering over 100 acres of land!

In this writer's opinion, the unity of this remarkable creature is most clearly visible when seen at wintertime:


3) The Tule Tree:  Mexico's Montezuma Cypress


Imagine a tree so wide that, according to locals, you don't hug it; it hugs you.  That described the Tule Tree of Oaxaca, Mexico, pictured below:


4) Baobab, the Monkey Bread Tree



Although it can grow to an impressive 100 feet, height is not what sets the Monkey Bread Tree apart from other trees.  What makes this native of Madagascar so unique is its trunk.  The Monkey Bread Tree's trunk gets its swollen appearance from the water stored inside - lots and lots of water.  In fact, these trees can store over 31,000 gallons of water!


If you would like to see more phenomenal pictures, and read more about, the world's most amazing trees, check out this article from Neatorama.  

Do you have a tree that you personally find amazing, for whatever reason?  Does it have a story, or do you know any folklore about it?  Tell us about your own amazing tree.  Or, better yet, send in a picture.  

"A tree is a wonderful living organism which gives shelter, food, 
warmth and protection to all living things. It even gives shade to 
those who wield an axe to cut it down" - Buddha.



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