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Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Biggest Tree in the World (Photo Hunt: Wood)


Okay, so maybe I exaggerate a little. But not much. This is a Banyan Tree on The Big Island of Hawaii. I took this picture from within a grove of banyans somewhere on the road between Waikiki and Hilo. The photo looks a little murky because I was standing in the middle of a huge circle of trees whose branches were all entangled overhead. The filtered light was dim and greenish, and the shade was quite cool, even on this very bright and sunny day. Although it looks like it has lots of slim stems, branches, and trunks, this is actually one single tree. Its branches send out shoots that point down towards the earth and eventually become slender trunks that in turn sprout branches that send out shoots that point down towards the earth and eventually become slender trunks that in turn sprout branches... and so on. A banyan is a kind of fig. A single specimen can live hundreds of years. In fact, banyans can grow much larger than the one in the picture above. There is one in Hawaii that covers 2/3 of an acre. (Read more about them here.)

For all the scofflaws who would want to argue that the banyan doesn't really count as the biggest tree in the world because it's just a whole bunch of littler trees all clumped together, I give you this. The majestic Sequoia or California Redwood. It can live up to 2200 years, and get nearly 380 feet tall and 23 feet in diameter at the base. This picture was taken in 1998 in a grove at the Sequoia National Forest in California. There are certainly redwoods bigger than these particular trees, since there are some with tunnels in them for roads to go through (I'm not making this up). But these here are pretty darn big.

For a sense of scale, I'm including the next picture, which is of the surface roots of a toppled one of these incredible trees. Though it may not be literally the biggest tree in the world, it certainly qualifies as an awful lot of wood. (And yes, for those who are wondering, that is Mr. MommyTime posing for us all.)


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For more Photo Hunters' interpretations of "Wood" see TNChick. Or click the button for all the details on how to join.

18 comments:

napaboaniya said...

That tree is HUGE!!!!! The branches really look criss-cross among themselves :P

Huckdoll said...

The tree is amazing! Best "wood" post I've seen all night :)

Bengbeng said...

i love the banyan tree. it is supposed to b a holy tree too. The Lord Buddha meditated under a banyan tree

rajson said...

What a enormous tree!
Thanks for interesting writing too.
Happy weekend wishes from Sweden!

Gypsy at heart said...

Mister really gives a sense of the size. I wonder if the banyan tree has time to make a fruit / seed.Informative post.

Stine said...

Gorgeous! And utterly exotic to the likes of me. Thanks for visiting.

Hootin' Anni said...

Fantastic Photos!!!!!! [wish we had banyan trees in our part of the world!!]


Happy Hunting, I hope you'll find time to drop by and visit with me too today.

pinkjagxj said...

Great photos! Interestingly, I have very similar photos from the same trip my Photo Hunt photo is from.

Yen said...

WOW! Those are huge! Beautiful photos too:)

SnoopyTheGoon said...

How cool: yesterday I was mulling on the pictures from this same spot on the planet. Eventually decided that I'll use them later some time.

Great stuff.

Karen said...

Yes, Banyan trees are amazing! When the family and I went to Sanibel Island a few years back, we travelled through Ft. Myers which had Banyan trees in a park. We stopped and walked through simply because they were so cool.

Write From Karen

ancient one said...

Even if it is not the largest tree ever...I sure enjoyed looking at your pictures!!

Katney said...

My hubby grew up among the redwoods and theya re so huge, but I think the banyan is fascinating, don't you?

diXymiss said...

Fun piX of the gentle giants. It's been a long time since I've seen either an eXotic banyan or majestic sequoia. Both are amazing.

MommyTime said...

Huckdoll, you are funny!

Karen, yes, you really do just HAVE to get out and walk amongst them, don't you? They're so mysterious and fabulous.

Thanks, fellow photo hunters, for the visit.

andrée said...

wow, those are fantastic photos. So interesting. Mr. Mommytime looks so tiny next to that!

foolery said...

Wonderful photos. But You might want to rethink driving from Waikiki to Hilo -- you'll get rather wet, wink wink.

MommyTime said...

Foolery, you're totally right! This is what happens when one tries to write a post on three or fewer hours of sleep. -sigh- The folder of photos is labeled "Waikiki to Hilo" which was the first 1/3 of our journey...involving an airplane, not swimming. Too tired to look up the route again myself, I just copied the folder title figuring that would be close enough. It is close enough. Sort of. *wink*

 

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