Inspired by a similar blog post about 10 Magnificent trees that has been widely propagated around the blogsphere I decided to put together my own list of great trees of renown that I believe is more accurate than the above mentioned post. I had a hard time keeping the list to ten and ended up expanding it to twelve with some runner-up trees by category. At the end of the post I also mention some more truly great trees that did not make the list.
The General Sherman Tree is the largest tree by volume in the world and one of the fastest growing. It belongs to the species Sequoiadendron giganteum.
Although the main trunk of the is tree was removed in 1925 it continues to grow outward and has spread past the fence that was built around it. The highest branch is 24.5 meters tall and the canopy extends over 420 meters in diameter.
The "Arbol del Tule", a Montezuma cypress (Taxodium mucronatum), is claimed to be the tree with the largest diameter in the world. At 11.62 meters its diameter is greater than that of the largest Sequoia tree. The Tule tree is located in Oaxaca, Mexico and is claimed to locals to be the largest tree in the world (by volume and tonnage) although this claim is not scientifically proven. None the less it is a very impressive tree!
The Sunland Baobab of Limpopo, South Africa
"Big Baobab Tree (Adansonia digitata): This giant and ancient baobab at the Sunland Nursery, between Duiwelskloof and Ga-Kgapane, is the biggest specimen in the world. It has a circumference of 46,8m and carbon dating has determined its age at an astronomical 6000 years." from http://www.places.co.za/html/tzaneen.html
"When baobabs become a thousand years old, they begin to hollow inside. In the Big Baobab this has resulted in wonderful caverns and caves, where the world famous Baobab Tree Bar and Wine Cellar now amaze visitors. The tree bar can accommodate more than 60 people!"
runner-up - Chapman´s Baobab
In Botswana´s Kalarari Desert near the Makgadikgadi Pans (once a very immense inland lake in Africa) is a very large tree that goes by the name “Chapman´s Baobab”. In was named by a South African explorer by the name of James Chapman in 1861 when he was on an expedition with his brother and Thomas Baines. This tree is about 25 meters in circumference at its base (Baobab trees swell with water when it rains which makes trunk measurements difficult as they very from season to season). From what I have found I think that this is the second largest Baobab after the “Sunland Baobab in Limpopo which has a circumference of 46.8 meters.The tree is reputed to be between 4,000 and 6,000 years old.
The Pando tree is a "clonal colony" which means that this whole grove is one living organism that sends up multiple "stems". Each of what we would consider one "tree" is just a part of this giant living organism. These individual "stems" sprout grow to maturity and eventually age and die and fall over but the organism that they are a part of lives on. The largest known clonal colony is this forest of quacking aspens in Colorado that is estimated to have 40,000 stems and to be as old as 80,000 years.
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