10 Trees with a Remarkable History

Meet the tree that owns itself and more

By Google Arts & Culture

The Survivor Tree, New York, USA

In the aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Center, this callery pear tree was discovered amongst the rubble and remains. It was badly scorched and only a single branch remained living, but rescuers immediately saw the significance of this survivor tree.

The tree was revived by workers at the Arthur Ross Nursery, and in December 2010, the tree was moved to the memorial site at Ground Zero.

Anraku-ji Temple Ginkgo, Hiromshima, Japan

At Anraku-ji Temple in Hiroshima is a 300 year old Ginkgo tree that actually grows through the temple gate. However, it's even more remarkable as a hibakujumoku, a survivor tree of the August 6 1945 atomic bomb.

The Weeping Willow at Tsurumi Bridge, Hiromshima, Japan

In an instant, the atomic blast killed 80,000 people and wiped out 12 square km of the city. 1,700m from the hypocenter, this willow was just outside the circle of near-certain death. The trunk was burned and the canopy destroyed. But the tree grew again.

The Sahabi Tree, Jordan

For 1400 years, this lonely pistachio tree has greeted travellers taking the old trade route between Mecca and Damascus. It is said that as a child, the prophet Muhammad sat under this tree, where the monk Bahira foretold his future. Today, the tree is a major tourist site.

The Tree That Owns Itself, Georgia, USA

This tree is an anomaly. According to an 1890 article in the Athens Weekly Banner, this tree was given ownership of itself and all land within 8 feet, by its former owner, William H. Jackson, some 60 years earlier. Legal or not, this had been adhered to by the townsfolk.

The Oldest Palm Tree in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, USA

This tree started life on the outskirts of Los Angeles some time in the 1800s. In 1889, it was moved to the railway station, where it became a symbol of the west coast, akin to the Statue of Liberty. By 1914 it was moved to Agricultural Park and recognised as the oldest tree.

The Hungry Tree, Dublin, Ireland

Found in the grounds of King's Inns, Dublin, this London Plane tree has spent much of the past century slowly growing around and 'eating' a cast iron bench. For decades it has entertained tourists, and it's now designated a historic monument.

Caesarsboom, Lo, Belgium

It's said that Julius Caesar tethered his horse to this ancient yew tree and slept beneath its boughs when travelling through this region of Belgium. Historians may doubt this local legend, but whatever they say, it's a remarkable sight set against the medieval city gate.

The Tree of Hippocrates, Kos, Greece

Legends holds that the ancient Greek doctor Hippocrates taught beneath the boughs of this plane tree, now protected by scaffolding. Sadly, this tree is no more than 500 years old, but it may be a direct descendent of the original, said to have stood here for 2400 years.

The Midland Oak, Leamington Spa, England

At the very heart of England stands this oak tree, The Midland Oak. It's not that old, in fact it was planted in 1988, but it was grown from the acorn of a centuries-old tree that stood on the same spot. It's said to mark the historic centre of the Kingdom of England.

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