The Widest Tree in the World

June 3, 2019 — Leave a comment
Árbol del Tule (The Tree of Tule)

“People aren’t the apex species they think they are. Other creatures-bigger, smaller, slower, faster, older, younger, more powerful-call the shots, make the air, and eat sunlight. Without them, nothing.” From The Overstory by Richard Powers

I have been drawn to trees all my life and have photographed them extensively over the years. (see the Nocturnes and The Murmur prints) After reading The Overstory now I know why; Trees are incredibly social and wise beings yet humans are somehow far too ignorant to grasp this scientific fact. No one dares to ask why after a walk in the woods they feel better. It’s because you’re with living social beings who contain a quarter of your genetic makeup. They are your family and you should treat them that way.

I was very luck to see Árbol del Tule (The Tree of Tule). It is a tree located on the grounds the town center of Santa María del Tule in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. It is a Montezuma cypress (Taxodium mucronatum), or ahuehuete (meaning “old man of the water” in Nahuatl). The age is at least 3,000 years. It has the stoutest (widest) trunk of any tree in the world. (The next widest tree is a Giant Sequoia with a 8.98 m (29.5 ft) diameter). The DNA was tested to confirm it is one living being and not a group of trees. In 2001 it was placed on a UNESCO tentative list of World Heritage Sites. This tree gives off an immense amount of energy and no doubt why a chapel was built right next to it.

The Tree of Tule is still growing…

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