Thursday, June 24, 2010

The World's 10 Most Magnificent Trees

Our Tree that Owns Itself didn't make the world's ten most magnificent trees list, but it did get on the bonus list. And what incredible trees these are - a cutting started in 288 BC from the original fig tree under which the Buddha became enlightened in the 6th century and which may take a total of 3000 years to be fully grown, the Methuselah tree documented to be 4,838 years old, Utah's quaking aspen with a colony covering 107 acres, an 80,000 year old organism! This could be a destination list were it not that the location of some of the trees is not given for their own security. Seems that a scientist cut down another 5000 year old Methuselah tree just to determine its age, and a drunk Libyan driver mowed down the Tenere tree, a sole desert survivor when the Saharan desert dried up.

Patty and I stopped by the Monterrey Lone Cypress in 1977 when she was a cold war warrior.

She's probably reading this and thinking, "I was that skinny once?!"

Sixteen years later, in 1993, a buddy and I went cross country skiing into the sequoias looking for the General Sherman tree, the world's largest tree at 6000 pounds and 220 years old.

Jonathan was dwarfed next to the roots of one of these big guys fallen over.

We had to leave the trail to find the General and at one point Jonathan stopped in a mountain meadow to have his picture taken. As I was putting my camera away, I glanced up to see Jonathan taking off his skiis.

"No-o-o-o, Jonathan, don't take off your skis, you'll... I yelled, just as he sank almost up to his waist. I knew this would happen in deep meadow snow from my own experience sinking a snowmobile at night in the Rockies.

I pulled him out and we skied on, naturally being lost for a while, wondering if those large paw tracks were bear, and finally found the tree named after the general who made Georgia "howl" and then wired Lincoln, "I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah".

Two down, eight to go.


Pat said...

I do remember being that skinny - it's amazing that it didn't hurt!

Ya have to wonder about the mindset of someone who would cut down a tree to determine its age, don't you?

Katharine said...

And a scientist to boot, with permission from the US Forest Service! Ya gotta wonder.

Did you check out the whole list?

Kappa no He said...

I love trees. That is insane about cutting it down to determine its age. And that Tree that Owns Itself is a hoot.

Love your new blog look.

Anonymous said...

I remember you being that thin, but what is that contraption in your left hand and why are you holding tight to the fence?

Pat said...

Kath - I have yet to check out the whole list. Soon...

Terrie - just trying to keep up with you!

Anonymous - it was a camera, I think - and I was probably holding on to the fence to keep from being blown away by the wind!