12 Bizarre Trees With Fascinating History

By Raza Mehdi

Dec 12, 2022

The boab prison tree is over 1500 years old, with a large hollow centre. It was used in the 1890s as a holding cell for Aboriginal prisoners on their way for sentencing to a nearby Derby town.

Prison boab tree, Australia

This tree is known for its enormous umbrella shape, as the leaves grow only at the end of branches and point upwards. It is also known for "bleeding" red resin that has no smell or taste and multiple medical uses and is part of the pharmaceutical industry.

Dragon blood tree, Yemen

Le Chêne Chapelle is an oak tree dating back at least 800 years. In the 1600s, lightning struck and hollowed its trunk. A Virgin Mary shrine was built inside, followed by a chapel and an external staircase. Unfortunately, parts of the tree are now dead.

The Chapel Oak

Allouville-Bellefosse, France

The bent trunks of these 400 pine trees are believed to date back to the early 1930s. Scientists are still baffled by this curve of the trees, but it's likely due to a genetic mutation or the area's gravitational pull.

Crooked trees, Gryfino, Poland

This sequoia tree is the largest living organism on Earth, with a height of 275 feet (83 m). It's between 2,300 and 2,700 years old and was named after Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman in 1879.

General Sherman, California, USA

These trees have naturally adapted to grow in a distorted shape due to the windy environment. The prevailing coastal wind is so intense that the root-soil contact is disrupted and hinders water absorption in trees.

Windblown trees New Zealand

A popular tourist attraction, the twisted dreading tunnel is formed by simple beech trees. The trees were planted around 1775 by a family who wanted to create an intimidating avenue to their home.

Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland

Found in Wat Mahathat temple, the theories about Buddha's head amidst the roots of the banyan tree are ambiguous. Some say the tree grew around the statue when the temple was destroyed during the Burmese conflict in 1767. Another theory is that a thief hid it there in the 1900s.

Buddha in a tree

Ayutthaya, Thailand

At over 2000 years old, El Arbol del Tule is the oldest living tree in Mexico. It is the stoutest tree in the world with a 10-meter (33 feet) diameter trunk. The circumference of the trunk is an unusual 54 meters!

Árbol del Tule, Mexico

Estimated to be 250 years old, the remarkable Lone Cypress stands atop a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean and defies the weather and human intrusion. The cypress tree symbolises eternal life and is the most photographed tree in North America.

Lone Cypress, California, USA

Ta Prohm was a Buddhist temple dedicated to the mother of King Jayavarman VII. The temple is completely covered with overgrown trees jutting out of the roofs, temple walls and everywhere. The giant roots of the silk cotton trees appear to embrace the past in its cradle.

Ta Prohm temple, Cambodia

In 1666, Newton witnessed an apple fall off a tree and hit the ground. This observation led him to question and formulate the theory of gravity. This is that same tree from which the famous apple is said to have fallen.

Isaac Newton's Apple Tree

Lincolnshire, England