trees

Wooden you love to check out some tree-mendous trees? If you’re a fan of forests, then plant yourself right here, dear readers. Whether it’s branch-loving goats or technicolor trunks, leaf your cares behind and check out our list of the most awe-inspiring trees on Earth.

The Most Awe-Inspiring Trees On Earth

1.  Redwoods, USA

You will discover these trees in the popular Redwood National and State Parks, in California. This complex of officially-protected forests is located along the northern coast of the state. These giant, old-growth redwood trees tower above travelers, a number of them have been here for hundreds, even thousands of years. Perhaps the most impressive of these towering trees is the 600-year-old Hyperion. This impressive redwood is the tallest living tree on the planet and stands 380 high.  

2.  Argan Trees, Morocco

These trees have thorny branches and wide canopies. You can see them all over Morocco’s southwestern landscape, especially between the cities of Agadir and Essaouira. These trees are very strong, can endure desert temperatures, and live to be up to 250 years old.  

Mind you, not all of their fans are two-legged. The local goats just love the fruit these unique trees bear. In fact, you can often spot them precariously perched amidst the branches.  

They serve as more than a tourist attraction though. The trees also reportedly contribute to the production of one of the nation’s valuable argan oil. They eat the fruit and spit out the oil-rich seeds.  

3.  Joshua Trees, USA

You will discover these trees in California’s Joshua Tree National Park in southeastern California. You can get a great look at them along any of the hiking trails in this park. These spunky-looking trees are part of the agave family and can live for nearly a century.

Many travel writers say it is the unusual appearance of these trees–with shocks of prickly spines and spindly trunks–that make them a significant “source of curiosity.” They often grow between the boulders and rock formations found in the park. You may also spot desert night lizards and wood rats around them.

4.  Montezuma Cypress, Mexico

Perhaps the most famous of Montezuma cypress is the Tule Tree. It is nestled in the church grounds of Santa María del Tule, in the state of Oaxaca. This tree is reported to be over 2,000 years old. It is also said to have the “greatest girth of any living tree.” According to the Guinness World Records staff, this tree has an official girth of 36 meters.

 

5.  Dragon Trees, Spain 

Head to the lush, fertile isle of Tenerife in the Canary Islands of Spain. These stunning subtropical trees can actually be found all over the Canary Islands, but these curious trees are specifically symbolic of Tenerife. They are named from the striking blood-red sap they produce and have thin, straight leaves, and tightly packed branches.

Oddly enough, dragon trees belong to the very same scientific family as asparagus. The trees are also a symbol of fertility, and heavily steeped in mysticism to boot. The most famous dragon tree on this island is the “Drago Milenario” or the Millennial Dragon Tree. It is located in northern Tenerife in the little town of Icod de los Vinos. It is approximately 1,000 years old and thus is the oldest of its kind.

6.  The Crooked Trees, Poland

Travel to one of Poland’s greenest regions, West Pomerania. For it is here that you will find the night legendary Crooked Forest. The Crooked Forest is a famous series of 22 different rows of trees, all of which have curved bases that point to the north. The locals have yet to learn if these strange trees were planted in a way to make them bend or if they simply bend naturally. Regardless of which is true, everyone agrees they really do look like something that came from a strange planet. 

7.  The Crooked Bush, Canada

The botanical mystery known as The Crooked Bush is ensconced in the province of Saskatchewan. This great grove of crooked aspen trees is near the small town of Hafford roughly an hour’s drive out of the capital city of Saskatoon. The locals have quite an interesting assortment of wonderfully weird theories and tall tales concerning their origins. Nevertheless, most of the experts feel that these trees are contorted due to some as yet unknown genetic mutation. 

8.  Empress Tree, USA

Empress trees are also known as foxglove trees. They are named after the famous foxglove-like flowers that burst from its branches every year. They are said to be the fastest-growing tree in the world because they can grow a total of six meters in the first year as an actual sapling and up to 30 centimeters during its first three weeks of life. The tree has its roots in Central and Western China. Today, however, it grows all over America. It also is famous for producing as much as four times more oxygen than any other tree in the world.  

9.  Banyan Trees, India 

Some travel journalists say that Banyan trees are probably “the most interesting trees” anywhere on Earth. Perhaps the most famous of these is the Thimmamma Marrimanu, which can be found in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Spanning an area of over 0.02 square kilometers, it resembles a veritable forest of individual trees, and yet it isn’t.

These trees have aerial prop roots that actually grow from the tree’s canopy downward into the soil. Thimmamma Marrimanu has more than 1,000 aerial prop roots and is thus the largest banyan tree/forest on the planet. Legend has it that this tree sprouted from the place where the lovely Lady Thimmamma burned herself on her dead spouse’s funeral pyre in the 1200s. Today couples hoping to have children visit the tree thinking it will result in a pregnancy.

10.  The Fortingall Yew Tree, Scotland

This European Yew tree is more than 3,000 years old. It is located in a quiet churchyard in Perthshire and is the oldest of its kind in the United Kingdom. Ah, but this particular tree is famous for more than its age. It is also famous for having gone through a sex change.  

By all accounts, this tree has always been a male tree. More recently, sources indicate a cluster of red berries was discovered growing on one of the yew’s branches. Since berries grow only on female yews, the current hypothesis is that environmental stress has caused a change. Stranger, the rest of this tree is still male. Therefore, we can’t help but ask: Is this a trans-tree now?

11.  The Tree Of Life, Bahrain

This tree doesn’t set any world records in terms of height, age, or rate of growth, but some speculate it could be the loneliest or most in need of watering. This tree coils its numerous roots deep down into the sands of the nigh barren Bahrain desert, many, many miles from any obvious source of water. The wondrous tree survives via its life-sustaining tap root which burrows at least 35 meters into the earth to reach an underground aquifer. Local legend has it that this specific tree actually grows on the site of the former Garden of Eden.  

12.  General Sherman, USA

Regular readers already know that the world-famous General Sherman is an enormous sequoia tree growing in the Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park in California. You can take one of the hiking trails to this massive specimen, which is reported to be the largest living single-stem tree by volume known to man. At its base, it is 36 feet in diameter and is a towering 275 feet in height. The General Sherman is more than 2,000 years old and is still growing.

13.  Baobab Trees, Madagascar

trees

The best place to see these trees is The Avenue of Baobabs, nestled in the majestic Menabe region of western Madagascar. These striking trees are marked by their flat, umbrella-like canopies and red-tinged trunks. They make an otherwise unimpressive dirt road quite distinct. Experts believe these trees are more than 1,000 years old. While The Avenue of Baobabs includes only 50 trees today, this place is said to have once been a lush forest. Unfortunately, over the years, most of the trees were cut down to meet the agricultural needs of a growing local populace. Today these trees not only remain as a living symbol of the thriving groves of the past but serve another purpose as well. They also are capable of storing gallons of water within their trunks and are said to have multiple medicinal properties too.  

14.  The Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland

Fans of “Game of Thrones” may very well already be familiar with these Gothic-like Dark Hedges, near Armoy in County Antrim. Ever since these hedges were used as the TV show’s Kingsroad location, viewers have been flocking to this dramatic setting.

This terrific tunnel includes over 150 beech trees and is thought to have been planted back in the 1700s by the royal Stuart family. It made quite an impressive entranceway to the great Georgian mansion known as Gracehill House. Today the locals claim that the area is haunted by several ghosts including the infamous Grey Lady.  

15.  Jacaranda Trees, South Africa

You best place to see these trees is in the cities of Pretoria and Johannesburg. Indeed, the capital city of Pretoria is the home of over 70,000 of them. The best time to see these trees is between late September through late November.  

It’s during this period that the trees put on a beautiful floral display. The pretty purple (and sometimes white) blooms are also quite fragrant. Although they are often considered a national symbol, they are not native to the nation. In fact, they were actually brought to South Africa in the 1800s from Brazil. 

16.  The Japanese Maple, USA

Image courtesy of Lewis Carlyle/Wordpress

Visit The Portland Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon in the fall to get the best view of this graceful Japanese maple in these reputedly authentic Japanese gardens. For it is then that veteran visitors confirm the tree truly takes the cake here in the Strolling Pond Garden. It is then that it is said to really “come to life” with a spectacular show of raging red and awesome orange.

17.  The Wisteria, Japan

If you’re in Japan and want to experience a bit more than just cherry blossoms, then travel to the city of Ashikaga. For it is here, in the attractive, bloom-bursting Ashikaga Flower Park roughly an hour’s drive north of bustling Tokyo. Travel journalists state that tourists typically flock there to enjoy not only cherry blossoms but some incredible wisteria trees as well.  

Here you can see over 350 of them as you hike through 23 acres and walk through the wonderful wisteria tunnels too. Purple wisteria is said to be the most common, yet here you will discover white and blue blooms as well. The best time to visit here is from the middle of April to early May. You simply must see the huge Great Miracle Wisteria. This 140-year old tree is in the center of the park. Be sure to check out the Wisteria Festival too!

18.  Rainbow Eucalyptus, USA

This multi-tinted tree is located in the island state of Hawaii (and in certain parts of Oceania and southern Asia). In Hawaii, however, these unique specimens can be found in a popular grove along the world-famous Hana Highway along the coast of Maui. The individualistic lines appear as the tree’s bark sheds in strips, revealing multi-colored shades of green, orange, and red. The trees smell good too! 

Special Mention 

19.  Prometheus, USA

Image courtesy of Flickr/Rick Goldwaser

The bristlecone pine, Prometheus, was believed to be approximately 5,200 years old. It was located on Mt Wheeler in Nevada. The tree was chopped down in 1963 by a grad student geologist who was studying trees there. Its trunk had only 4,876 rings. Its harsh environment may have impacted the tree’s age. Nevertheless, it still was recognized as “the oldest tree ever to have lived.” (Imagine how old it might be today had it not been chopped down in 1963?)

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