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10 Famous Trees You Should See In Your Lifetime

10. GENERAL SHERMAN
10 Famous Trees You Should See In Your Lifetime
Some of the most stunning natural landmarks on Earth, these trees are famous for their age, height, width, or cultural significance. They span the globe from California to India, and many breathtaking destinations in between. These aren’t the trees from your childhood backyard—but they’re sure to inspire the same sense of adventure, playfulness, and exploration.
By AFAR Editors, AFAR Staff
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    10. GENERAL SHERMAN
    10. GENERAL SHERMAN
    Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park, California

    The largest (by volume) single-stem tree in the world, General Sherman is a landmark redwood that stretches 275 feet into the air and accessible via a forest hiking trail. Tourists can get some life perspective from the base of this friendly giant.

    Photo by Mathieu Thouvenin/Flickr
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    9. ÁRBOL DEL TULE
    9. ÁRBOL DEL TULE
    Santa Maria del Tule, Mexico

    In the state of Oaxaca, Mexico lies the Árbol del Tule, a legendary Montezuma cypress (ahuehuete) known for its wide trunk. Many see animals naturally “carved” into the trunk, and the tree often draws crowds trying to discern images from the bark.

    Photo by Enrique Vázquez/Flickr
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    8. MAJOR OAK
    8. MAJOR OAK
    Sherwood Forest, England

    Known as “England’s most famous tree” and steeped in tradition, Major Oak is a large English Oak in Nottinghamshire. The tree has a hollow trunk interior, which is said to have been a favorite hiding spot of Robin Hood.

    Photo by Simon Collison/Flickr
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    7. LONE CYPRESS
    7. LONE CYPRESS
    Pebble Beach, California

    One of the top sights along California’s renowned 17-mile drive, the Lone Cypress stands atop a cliff overlooking the ocean. It’s a wildly popular spot for photographers, who can either observe from the roadside parking lot or hike down onto the ocean rocks.

    Photo by Dirk Haun/Flickr
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    6. TREE OF LIFE
    6. TREE OF LIFE
    Bahrain

    Named for its “mysterious” desert survival, the Tree of Life is located in Bahrain, just over a mile from Jebel Dukhan. The Prosopis cineraria tree, known for surviving harsh conditions, is about 400 years old and has sustained life despite no sign of water or other vegetation in the area.

    Photo by Reppuli/Flickr
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    5. BOAB PRISON TREE
    5. BOAB PRISON TREE
    DerbyWestern Australia 

    Located in Derby, Western Australia, the Boab Prison Tree is so named for a legend that claims the hollow tree was once used as a holding cell for indigenous Australian prisoners. The tree is thought to be about 1500 years old, and today is protected from destruction or degradation by a fence.

    Photo by Graeme Churchard/Flickr
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    4. GREAT BANYAN TREE
    4. GREAT BANYAN TREE
    Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden, India

    One of the most famous—and majestic—banyan trees in the world, the spectacular Great Banyan Tree is actually a clonal colony. What appears to be a series of trunks are actually a single tree’s many aerial roots, spread out across an area of 3.5 square acres of land.

    Photo by Joe Gratz/Flickr
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    3. METHUSELAH TREE
    3. METHUSELAH TREE
    White Mountains, California

    One of the world’s oldest known living things, the Methuselah Tree is estimated to be around 4700 to 4800 years old and is located along a trail filled with ancient trees of the same variety. The bristlecone pine tree is located in the Inyo County of Eastern California, in the unrelentingly tough conditions of the White Mountains. Incredibly resilient, the Methuselah Tree is a symbol of endurance and a connection between modern and ancient times.

    Photo by Daveynin/Flickr
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    2. BODHI TREE
    2. BODHI TREE
    Bodh Gaya, India

    Deeply rooted in spiritual significance, the Bodhi Tree is located in the religious pilgrimage site of Bodh Gaya in India. According to Buddhist legend, this tree is thought to be a direct descendent of that under which Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment. Today, Buddhist travelers hope to achieve their own awakening when visiting this landmark.

    Photo by Ken Wieland/Flickr
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    1. THE TREE THAT OWNS ITSELF
    1. THE TREE THAT OWNS ITSELF
    Athens, Georgia 

    The name of this tree says it all: it literally owns itself. The tree originally sat on land owned by Colonel William H Jackson, a professor at the University of Georgia, who deeded the landmark—and eight feet on all sides—to the tree itself. Yes, really. Today, the tree pays no taxes, is protected by the community, and is located on its own plot of land.

    Photo by MonkeyMyshkin/Flickr
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    WHAT'S NEXT . . .