10 Most Famous Trees in the World

Martina Rosado
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Arbol del Tule

(Mexico)

Most famous for its appearance in the 1938 film 'My Beautiful Laundrette', the Arbol del Tule tree is also a National Monument of Mexico and is the most important and the most widely grown arbotis tree in the world. It is also known as the "Tree of Life", and is considered one of the best representations of the ancient Mayan culture.

Tree of the Mayans

The significance of this tree goes beyond just its status as a prime example of an arbotis tree, too: it is one of the best representations of the ancient Mayans, as the shape of the tree reflects the mounds of the ancient Mayan people. In the middle of the tree, there are two branches that symbolize the sun and the moon, both of which are important in the Mayan culture.

The Film 'My Beautiful Laundrette'

The tree joined the ranks of famous trees thanks to the British-American movie 'My Beautiful Laundrette', starring Juliette Lewis and Saeed Jaffrey, which was filmed in parts of Mexico but mostly shot on location around London.

Brittlebush (Utah)

Cotton Tree

Boab Prison Tree

The Boab Prison Tree is a tree located in the Boab Prison Grove in the Great Western Road National Park in the rural town of Stawell in the Grampians of the state of Victoria. The tree is a living memorial to all prisoners of Australia who were incarcerated in the Boab Prison.

The Boab Prison, which was located in the area from 1841 to 1862, was a type of penal institution used as a form of punishment where convicted prisoners were sent for long periods of time into the desert for public works projects such as road building and farming many of which were considered too dangerous for convicts to do on their own.

To get to the tree from Stawell, approximately 8 kilometers (5 miles) away, one must travel along Great Western Road to the turn off for Badjirra Ruins, about 1 kilometer/0.6 miles away. The Boab Prison tree is at this side road, and a sign at the turn off points to a short walk about 100 meters away.

If you look to the right when you see the sign for the short walk, on the side of the turn off is the Boab Tree. The Boab Prison Tree is a massive cypress-like gum tree with a thick trunk in diameter and covering an area. The Boab Prison Tree is estimated to be about 500 years old.

Major Oak

Spanish relatives of the now-famous American chestnut, which were once the most abundant hardwood in the Eastern U.S. range but were wiped out by the blight that spread from the Asian fungus Cryphonectria parasitica over 50 years ago. East Asia currently has the largest chestnut population in the world, with Asian Chestnut, Castanopsis sinensis (Lour.) B.S.P. var. sinensis, being the most common. The exact native range of Chinese Chestnut is unknown, but it is sympatric (occurs in the same location) with Castanopsis sinensis along the Yangtze River, so it is assumed that Chinese Chestnut has its origin in that area of China. Chinese Chestnut is certainly native in Japan and is also native in Korea. It is now considered an invasive species in east Asia. Chinese Chestnut is an important co-species of Castanopsis lirata in eastern China.

Lone Cypress

(Cupressuslone)

This tree occurs throughout much of Western North America. This tree is the only living member of the genus Cupressus. The species was named in 1775 by Carl von Linne.

One of the two species of cypress, the Hectic Cypress is found in the southern United States. This species is the one found in Texas.

Sometimes called the Montezuma Cypress, this tree grows in a range of elevations from 1,200 feet above sea level, to 2,900 feet above sea level.

The Lone Cypress thrives in hot microenvironments, as well as its desert habitat.

This is because it has adapted to fire, which preserves much of the plant material.

The Lone Cypress has a girth of up to 76 feet and can live up to 3,000 years.

The plant is a keystone to its ecosystem; its presence encourages the growth of other plants and trees. The tree is one of the few deciduous members of the cypress family.

Tree of Life

The World’s Longest Tree.

Standing tall at 60 feet, the Tree of Life is located in the Sacred City of the Aztecs, Mexico City.

It is the only pine tree living in the world and the longest in the world as well.

The Tree of Life once housed gold, silver, and other treasures, but those were removed by gold-hunters during the Spanish Conquest in the 16th century. Today, the tree is covered in religious symbols that tell a story of the people who lived there.

Socotra Dragon Trees

(Dracaena cinnabari)

The Socotra Dragon Tree is native to Socotra Island off of the coast of Yemen. It’s a solitary tree that lives around 600 to 2,000 feet above sea level.

They can be tall, reaching 80 feet, or they may grow wider and lower, with branches that reach up to 75 feet in length.

They also grow to a diameter of around 30 feet. The Socotra Dragon Tree can also grow in a clump of three feet, with the columella (the trunk of the tree) growing straight up straight. The Socotra Dragon Tree is native to Socotra Island off of the coast of Yemen. It’s a solitary tree that lives around 600 to 2,000 feet above sea level.

They can be tall, reaching 80 feet, or they may grow wider and lower, with branches that reach up to 75 feet in length.

They also grow to a diameter of around 30 feet. The Socotra Dragon Tree can also grow in a clump of three feet, with the columella (the trunk of the tree) growing straight up straight.

The Socotra Dragon Tree isn’t just impressive as a single tree, but can also grow in clumps.

General Sherman

The Redwood Tree.

A big tree with an even bigger name, the General Sherman is one of the giants of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America. With a daily volume of around 1.5 million gallons of water, this beauty is the largest sequoia in the world, and one of the largest living trees in the world.

The only sequoia in the world that is over 1,300 years old, the General Sherman has been known to withstand the impacts of mother nature over the centuries. An epicenter of heavy storms, a 7.8 earthquake in 1884 left this magnificent tree unscathed.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990, the General Sherman is the holder of the title of the largest tree in the world for the last quarter of the 20th century. Even if you arrive in the Northwest late in the season, you should be able to visit the General Sherman, especially if you are staying in Sequoia National Park.

With a volume of over 20,000 gallons of water, this tree can grow up to 318 feet tall and 128 feet wide. It’s the oldest living organism in the world and has been around since before the Roman Empire.

Cedars of God

The Cedars of God forests in the Bekaa Valley below the Biblical Mount Lebanon, are recognized by UNESCO as the world’s oldest living growth forests.

In the 1980s, the United States was the world’s largest importer of Cedar, but the project to restore Lebanon’s aged Cedar forests is restoring the nation’s finances.

The Cedars of God project has given Lebanon’s economy a boost and helped it pay off its subsidized debt with the European Union and United States.

Lebanon also uses the Cedars as a protected site to house plants from around the world for study, such as the world’s largest collection of juniper trees from China.

Avenue of the Baobabs