Trees are true heroes of the natural world. They provide food and shelter, clean the air, give shade from the sun, and look beautiful and majestic while doing it all. Some trees are proud and elegant, but others are just wacky trees that stand out from the rest of the forest. Do you want to know where some of the unusual trees make their home? Check out this list of ten trees that are worth a visit.
1. Angel Oak, United States
This southern live oak, found on John’s Island outside of Charleston in South Carolina, has survived hurricanes and land development over the years. While it is not the oldest of its kind, it has been around for about 500 years, and many visitors stop to admire it.
2. Dragon Blood Trees, Yemen
Found on the Socotra archipelago in the Indian Ocean, these unusual trees are known as much for their heavy crown as for their blood-red tree sap, which is used as a dye and a medicine.
3. Ta Prohm, Cambodia
This ancient temple at Angkor is notable for the trees that have taken over the exterior of the structure. No one is exactly sure what kind of trees have taken root in the temple, and it can be difficult to tell where plant ends and the wall begins.
4. El Arbol del Tule, Mexico
“El Arbol del Tule” © 2012 Rafael Bautista
In Oaxaca, this Montezuma cypress tree sits in a yard in the center of town. Its broad crown can be seen over the roofs of the buildings, but having the widest trunk in the world is what makes this tree so well-known.
5. Rainbow Eucalyptus
My Best Place
Also known as eucalyptus deglupta, these tall trees can be found primarily in the South Pacific. Its multi-colored trunk occurs naturally when the outer bark peels off, leaving different layers exposed in various hues.
6. Axel Erlandson’s Tree Circus, United States
Martin Lewison, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0
Created in 1947 by a Swedish-American farmer with an unusual hobby, these ornamental trees, shaped through a process known as approach-grafting, can now be found in Gilroy, California.
7. Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar
Imagine heading down a dirt road in western Madagascar, only to see massive trees that look like their roots are in the air. These baobabs may be up to 800 years old and are a popular site for visitors.
8. Blossoming Cherry Trees
These ornamental Japanese cherry trees are remarkable for their delicate pink blossoms that welcome the beginning of spring. Some of the more famous locations to appreciate their blooms include the Imperial Palace in Japan, the city of Bonn in Germany, or around the Mall in Washington, D.C.
9. Giant Sequoias, United States
These living fossils can only be found naturally in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, although they have been cultivated in other parts of the world. The average height is between 50 and 85 meters, and some have lived over 3,000 years.
10. Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland
The natural tunnel formation of beech trees was originally planted by a landowner for his wife in the 1700’s. Now, these trees are a hit with tourists because the site has been used for popular television shows and movies.
Have you seen any of these or other wacky trees during your travels? Share your stories in the comments below or check out other impressive sites for your next vacation.