El Arbol de Tule, the biggest tree in the world?

articles Travel & Destinations

Rohan Barnett

Photo Gallery: El Arbol de Tule, the biggest tree in the world?

At over 2000 years old, El Arbol del Tule, which is actually an Ahuehuete Cypress, is among the oldest living trees in the world. With a 10 meter (33 feet) diameter trunk it is also considered by many to be the broadest tree in the world. The circumference of the trunk is an amazing 54 meters (178 feet) It is over 40 meters (130 feet) high, boasts a foliage diameter of over 51 meters (170 feet), and weighs over 500 tons.

Just look at the adult standing to the left of the tree in the first photo above!

<p>Tree at Tule. The world's largest girth tree.</p>
Tree at Tule. The world’s largest girth tree.

The Tree of Tule: the largest girth in the world?

The appearance of the massive tree is that of multiple trunks fused together. Recent DNA tests, however, suggest that it is in fact a single individual tree!

The various contortions of the trunk give the appearance of the faces of goblins and monsters. In fact, if you visit you will be offered a tour of the tree by local school children (an official project) who will show you all manner of creatures hiding in the tree, including elephants and jaguars! If you click on the images on this page you’ll see some of the spooky figures trapped in the tree.

This great ahuehuete (Montezuma cypress) specimen is still alive and growing, as can be seen by the dense foliage reaching 43 meters into the sky!

Unfortunately there are concerns about the future well-being of the tree. Please follow the links below to find out more.


Santa Maria del Tule is a small town in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. Located 8 miles (13km) from the city of Oaxaca (on the way to Mitla), it is easily reached by bus or car.

© Rohan Barnett 2000
This article and photographs are kindly provided from his  site WorldExperience.com, a collection of photo essays.

Published or Updated on: January 1, 2000 by Rohan Barnett © 2008
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