How do I love thee, old tree? Let me count the ways; you change carbon dioxide into the oxygen we breathe, you sequester carbon, and you provide shelter for countless critters. From flowering trees, to thorny trees, to rainbow trees – they are all pretty magnificent and tend to amplify any environment they are in. Here are some of the most beautiful trees in the world.
1. 125+ Year Old Rhododendron “Tree” In Canada
A small Canadian town hopes to become a tourist attraction thanks to the internet fame of a homeowner’s giant rhododendron. The 25ft (7.6m) by 30ft bush in Ladysmith, British Columbia, is now in peak bloom and putting on quite a show. The 115-year-old botanical wonder – known as Lady Cynthia – will carry about 4,000 spring blossoms over the next couple of weeks. The rhododendron is often confused for a tree but is actually a shrub. Former Ladysmith councillor and local historian Rob Johnson, 73, has convinced the town’s Chamber of Commerce to promote “the marvel of nature” as an attraction.
2. Baobab trees in Madagascar
The baobab trees, known locally as renala, are up to 2,800 years old. They are a legacy of the dense tropical forests that once thrived on Madagascar. The trees did not originally tower in isolation over the sere landscape of scrub, but stood in dense forest. “Sanctuary of nature” and “ecological jewel”, are the adjectives that qualify the natural wealth of Madagascar. The baobab, also called “reniala” (“mother of the forest”) in Malagasy, is a 100% secular Malagasy tree. There are eight species on earth and six of them are endemic to the island. The baobab constitutes an important reserve of water which allows it to tolerate extreme climatic conditions. Because of its trunk filled with water, the baobab is also called “bottle tree”. At 19 kms from Morondava, admire the unique forest of baobab trees in the world. This set of a dozen trees presents a landscape of a rare elegance. Most of these baobabs are more than 800 years old, a legacy of the dense forests that have flourished on the island a long time ago. You will admire there the most beautiful specimens in a wonderful scenery.
3. 144-Year-Old Wisteria In Japan
This extraordinary woody climbing vine is already 144 years old, exemplifying one of the wisterias’ most crucial features – its hardiness. Located in the Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi, Japan, this wisteria’s vines cover as many as as 1,990 square meters. The branches of the vine, rich with vivid blooms, are supported by numerous steel poles. Visitors to the park can walk below its canopy, admiring its extraordinary beauty. It is certainly not the largest in the world, but it still comes in at an impressive 1,990 square meters (or half an acre) and dates back to around 1870 (the largest, at about 4,000 square meters, is the wisteria vine in Sierra Madre, California). Although these plants can look like trees, they’re actually flowering vines. Because its vines have the potential to get very heavy, this old plant’s entire structure is held up on steel supports, allowing visitors to walk below its canopy and bask in the pink and purple light cast by its beautiful blossoms.
4. Methuselah Tree
Methuselah is a 4,853-year-old Great Basin bristlecone pine tree growing high in the White Mountains of Inyo County in eastern California. It is recognized as the non-clonal tree with the greatest confirmed age in the world. Named after the Biblical figure that lived for 969 years, the Methuselah Tree grows in the Methuselah Grove, which is in inyo National Forest’s “Forest of Ancients,” where it is surrounded by other ancient trees. The exact location of the tree, though, is kept secret to protect it against vandalism. When Edmund Schulman and Tom Harlan took samples from the famous tree in 1957, they discovered it was 4,789 years old. It is estimated that the tree germinated in 2832 BCE, making Methuselah one of the oldest known living trees and non-clonal organism in the entire world. A germination date of 2832 BCE makes Methuselah older even than the Egyptian Pyramids. It has just a bit longer to hold on until it is older than Prometheus, another bristlecone specimen that was 4,844 years old when accidentally destroyed in 1964.
5. Beautiful Japanese Maple In Portland, Oregon
While Japanese Maples have always been appreciated by garden enthusiasts, it wasn’t until the late 20th century when the trees became available commercially that their popularity exploded and they began popping up in neighborhood landscapes, including Portland. One of the most iconic Acer Palmatums in the northwest is the beautiful maple growing in Portland’s Japanese Garden. With it’s twisting branches and variegated leaves of green and red, the the tree looks beautiful in any season. Having grown for decades and being the most photographed piece in the garden, this tree could be the spark that set off Oregonians love for the species. Once difficult to find, there are now several growers and nurseries that offer a wide variety of cultivars to choose from. River Rock Nursery in Damascus, Oregon has a great selection of new and unique.
Blooming Cherry Trees in Bonn, Germany
The tradition of celebrating the blooming of cherry blossom trees is centuries old in Japan. The flowering of the cherry tree, also known as “Sakura”, has a rich meaning in Japanese culture. It used to signal to farmers that spring is near and that it was time to plant their crops. Today the cherry blossom flowers are a symbol of hope, beauty, and new life. The planting of cherry blossom trees in Bonn originated in 1980 as a symbol of friendship to Germany from the people of Japan. What makes the Cherry Blossom Ave in Bonn so special is that this avenue is ONLY lined with Sakura trees. This creates a vivid pink tunnel for the whole block every March into April.