El Arbol del Tule (Spanish for The Tree of Tule) is a Montezuma cypress (Taxodium mucronatum)located in Santa Marie del Tule, a small town in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. It is one of the oldest, widest,largest and stoutest trees in the world.
On my recent trip to this area we had a guide take us to view this amazing giant. In 2001 it was placed on the UNESCO tentative list of World Heritage Sites.
My daughter felt this was a must see for me since our back yard host a giant Siberian Elm and I hold a deep passion for BIG TREES!!
The tree is said to have an age of over 2000 years and its existence was chronicled by both the Aztecs and the Spanish that founded the City of Oaxaca. It has a height of over 40 meters, a weight of over 701.188 short tons. The trunk is said to be so wide that it takes over 30 adults with arms spread wide to encircled this giant tree. The buildings that surround this tree, which is in the city center, are dwarfed by the tree's massiveness.
What I like most about his story is that many years ago the town people were very worried about the health of the tree and started a major effort to water the area. The result was that they planted many beautiful gardens in the immediate area. This has served to beautify the City Center and also help preserve the roots and the overall health of the tree.. The population has benefited from the tree as well due to the fact that tourism based on Arbol del Tule employs over 75% of the municipality's population.
So this beautiful tree has shaped the development and economy of this area for thousands of years, let's hope this will continue for thousands of years to come!!