From ones that you can drive through to others full of goats, trees are more fascinating and captivating than you think!
Image: Lindley Ashline: ‘The drive-through tree in Leggett, CA’
We’ve all heard of drive-thru food and even drive-thru ATMs, but what about a drive-thru tree?
This Chandelier tree has been located at the Drive-Thru Tree Park since 1937 and is accessible to all members of the public and their cars! You’ll find it about 180km north of San Francisco, in the town of Leggett.
Image: Paul Hamilton: ‘Great Banyan Tree’
It’s 250 years old, has survived two cyclones, and spreads over 3.5 acres of land. This huge banyan tree, in the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden, sprouts aerial roots that make this one tree look like a magical forest.
For keen travellers, there’s also a road that lets you drive right around the entire plant. Very cool!
Image: Isamiga76, ‘Allouville-Bellefosse, F-76 Le Chêne d’Allouville’
Part tree, part chapel, perhaps part elf home, Le Chêne Chapelle has its roots (ha!) in the village of Allouville-Bellefosse. It features two chapels (built in 1669) in its hollow interior and it’s thought to be the oldest tree in France at around 800-1,200 years old.
Mass is still held here twice a year and it’s also become an important site for the Assumption of Mary pilgrimage every August.
Image: Goats on tree eating argan, in Marocco
Seeing a bird in a tree is nothing. Go to Morocco, and you’ll see a goat (or ten)!
In the country’s southwest, Argania trees sprout fruit each year during June and July, attracting herds of hungry goats. The fruit is so tasty, apparently, that farmers have to keep the goats away from the trees early on in the year to stop them eating the fruit before it ripens.
Luckily, the goats also poop out the nuts and seeds – which farmers then use to make that famed Argan oil.
Image: David Cabrera, ‘Tronco’
Now that’s one gigantic trunk!
The Tree of Tule – or El Árbol del Tule – is a huge Montezuma Cypress with a trunk circumference of 42 metres (or around 14 metres diameter), making it the ‘stoutest’ tree in the world.
It can be found on the grounds of the local church in Santa Maria del Tule, and many believe it was planted by a priest who worshiped the Aztec wind god, around 1,400 years ago.
Image: Amanda Farah, ‘Hardy’s Tree’
Q: Who placed all those tombstones under this poor ash tree in a graveyard in London?
A: The novelist, Thomas Hardy (who wrote Tess of the d’Urbervilles)!
In his youth, Hardy worked for an architecture firm whose job was to exhume and remove remains in the graveyard to make way for a new rail line.
The task of relocating tombs fell on the young Thomas Hardy, who decided to arrange them in this circular pattern – hence, the Hardy Tree!
Image: Thomas, ‘ Rainbow Eucalyptus’
This gorgeous Eucalyptus hangs out in tropical forests in various countries and is known (obviously) for its rainbow-coloured bark.
The bark peels and sheds on a regular, seasonal basis, creating an array of bright hues that look almost like they’re painted on.
The trees themselves can also grow up to 60 metres tall and are commonly harvested for paper production.
Image: Flavio Vallenari, Canary Islands
Most of the time, trees are pretty resistant to wind. But this El Arbol de La Sabina (or Juniper Tree), on the Canary Island of El Hierro, just hasn’t got the hang of it.
Strong winds from the sea have warped this tree so much that it is now permanently bent over as if it is bowing, with its branches brushing the ground. Makes for a cool archway or photo op!
Image: Wisteria of the famous Ashikaga Flower Park
If you think trees have the ability to be magical, you’re in for a pink n’ purple treat at the Ashikaga Flower Park in Japan’s Tochigi Prefecture.
The famous Wisteria (or ‘fuji’) tree is 146 years old, and is said to cover just under 2,000 square metres. Technically it’s actually a vine, but it looks pretty tree-like to us! Apparently its ‘branches’ are so heavy that they need steel supports to hold them up.
For more breathtaking wisteria, see: http://www.earthporm.com/144-year-old-wisteria-japan-looks-like-pink-sky/