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The Worlds Oldest, Weirdest and Most Famous Trees
There are probably hundreds of magnificent trees in the world. Most are created by mother nature, and a few have had a helping hand from us humans, but all of them are amazing to look at. Here are just a few of our favourites.
The Jurapa Hills Oak Tree
It's clearly not the most spectacular tree in the world but recent tests have confirmed that it's probably the oldest having been around for a staggering 13,000 years.
This tree is 75 feet wide and not very tall but has survived in an inhospitable environment thanks to continual regeneration with new shoots. It's over 10,000 years older than the giant redwoods but even though it's the worlds oldest tree it's not the worlds oldest plant - that honour belongs to a quaking aspen in Utah which is thought to be 80,000 years old.
Despite the environment being hostile now it wasn't always the case - at the end of the last Ice Age the climate was a lot cooler and wetter allowing the tree to become established. Plant scientists say that in today's conditions it would be impossible for a new plant to grow at the site.
Arbre du Ténéré
This tree isn't particularly old but thanks to its location in the middle of the Sahara desert it was one of the most important and famous landmarks. Standing proudly over 250 miles from the nearest tree it was given the title of the world's loneliest tree as it stood marking the location of a 40m deep well.
Unfortunately a few years ago the tree was mowed down by a drunk Libyan truck driver and replaced with a metal pole. The dead tree was then taken to the National Museum of Niger in the capital Niamey.
Ancient Dragon Tree (Dracaena draco)
Icod de los Vinos is a small town in the Canary Islands off the northwest coast of mainland Africa. The slow growing tree has either a single or multiple trunks growing up to 12m tall, with a dense umbrella-shaped canopy of thick leaves. The Ancient Dragon Tree has long been the symbol of the town and tourists flock to see it. Dragon trees dates back to prehistoric times and are believed to be some of the longest standing trees on the planet. They can withstand extreme conditions including extreme heat, drought and wind.
The Dragon Tree has become associated with a legend which is also one of the reasons it is named after a dragon. Find out more here.
Cotton Tree (Sierra Leone)
At over 500 years old this tree is a treasured symbol of the city. A group of African-American slaves returned to Sierra Leone to settle the "province of Freedom" during the American War of Independence. They were believed to have gathered around the cotton tree, which was once a slave market. Freetown is now the capital and largest city of Sierra Leone.
The African Baobab (Adansonia Digitata)
This is the biggest and most widespread species of Baobabs and is believed to one of the oldest trees in the world. Other names include upside-down tree, botanical monster, tree of life and monkey bread tree. There is a legend attached to the tree which says that the devil pulled it out and planted it upside down, hence one of its names. This tree is able to provide food, water, shelter and medicine for both animals and humans which is why it is called "The Tree of Life."
Wonderboom or the "Miracle Tree"
This wild fig, more than 1000 years old, can be found in a nature reserve in Pretoria (Tshwane), Gauteng, South Africa. It is supposed to be able to shelter more than 1000 people. The tree now has 13 distinct trunks.
Legend has it that the remains of a chief of an indigenous tribe lies beneath its roots. This would explain the size of this particular Wonderboom.
The exact location of this tree is a secret to keep it from getting vandalised but it is believed to be growing somewhere in a place called "Forest of Ancients" in Methuselah Grove.
Methuselah is a Great Basin Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva) tree and is estimated to have germinated in 2832 BC and was 4,789 years old when sampled in 1957.
The tree was named after Methuselah who lived to be 969 years old although the tree has lived five times longer to date. For more information see the Bible.
Sarv-e Abarqu (Zoroatrina Sarv)
This tree is known as the oldest cypress tree and is believed to be more than 4000 years old. It means "cypress of Abarqu" and is an Iranian national monument as well as a major tourist attraction. Found in Abarghood in the province of Yazd, Sarv-e Abarqu was named after the city near Yazd.
In a village called Llangernyw in Wales is you can find a Llangernyw Yew in the churchyard of St. Digains' parish church. It is an enormous yew tree said to be 4,000 years old. The tree was recognized as a national heritage together with 49 other trees in June 2002.
The 3,639 year old Alerce tree can be found in Chile. They have life spans of up to 4,000 years and exist only in the temperate rain forests of Chile. The Rainforests also house the Fitzroya cupressoides, also called Andean Birch trees
The Senator (Taxodium distichum)
Estimated to be 3,400-3,500 years old today, The Senator is found in Big Tree Park, Longwood, Florida. It is meant to be the largest and oldest bald Cyprus tree.
Lone Cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa)
Found in Monterey Peninsula, California, this magnificent and stunning tree is made more beautiful by its surroundings and the fact that it stands alone.
Circus Trees sculpted by bean farmer Axel Erlandson
Axel Erlandson underneath one of his arborsculptures.
General Sherman (Sequoiadendron giganteum)
Giant Sequoias only grow in Sierra Nevada, California. General Sherman is approximately 2,200 years old.
This tree in Leggett, California is the most famous of the drive-through trees. It had a 9-foot tall hole cut through its base in the 1930s.
The Tree That Owns Itself
A white oak in Athens, Georgia was given ownership of itself and the surrounding land by Dr. William Henry Jackson in 1820! The original tree had died apparently toppled by the wind, and a new was planted at the same location from one of its acorns therefore assuming legal ownership of itself and of all land within eight feet of its base.
"For and in consideration of the great love I bear this tree and the great desire I have for its protection for all time, I convey entire possession of itself and all land within eight feet of the tree on all sides." -- William H. Jackson
Also known as the monkey bread tree, Baobabs are native to Madagascar. They can grow up to almost 100 feet and 35 feet wide. The swollen trunks store water so they can survive severe drought conditions.
The trees have had many uses including a toilet and a prison.
Chapel-Oak of Allouville-Bellefosse
This famous oak tree in Allouville, Normandy, France could have been an amazing tree house....
Banyan Tree: Sri Maha Bodhi Tree
This tree is most famous for being used by Robinson Crusoe for his tree house. These should jog your memory!
To find out more, take a look at the Wikipedia article on the world's oldest trees. And if you know of any other Famous Trees you think I should include, leave your comments below.