Terrifical Trees: Celebritrees–Historic & Famous Trees of the World

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By Leslie Lindsay

Call us tree huggers, but my family loves trees.  We love to sit in their shade and read a book (me), climb them (my 7-year old), talk about raising them–as in a tree farm (hubby), and collect things from them such as leaves and pine cones (my 5-year old).

Last year–about this time–I purchased this book Celebritrees:  Historic & Famous Trees of the World (Marji Preus and Rebecca Gibbon, Henry Holt & Company, 2010) as  little family gift to celebrate Arbor Day.  I pasted some photos of us surveying tree farms as well as my daughters’ drawings of pine trees and sunshine.  It serves as a sweet momento of our love of trees.

But the book also has some really great tid-bits about trees; things I never knew.  We’ve been reading a blurb or two to our daughters over the course of the year and I thought I’d share some with you and your family–seeing how Earth Day is Sunday, April 22nd and Arbor Day (at least here in Illinois) is April 27th.

Product Details (image retrieved from Amazon 4.20.12)

Celebritrees: Historic and Famous Trees of the World by Margi Preus and Rebecca Gibbon (Hardcover – Mar 1, 2011)

Here goes: 

  • Trees are the oldest, biggest, and tallest living organisms on the earth. 
  • Throughout history, trees were believed to  be homes to fairies, demons, dragons. dwarfs, spirits, and ancestors. 
  • A tree known as “Methuselah,” a Bristlecone Pine (Inyo National Forest, California) is the oldest known single living organism on earth.  It is named for a character in the Bible who was said to have lived 900 years.  The tree’s estimated age is 4,800 years old!  To put that into perspective, when the Egyptians began building the great pyramids, the tree was already 200 years old.   The tree’s 4,200 Birthday had already come and gone when Columbus set foot in the New World.
  • Another tree, called “General Sherman,” (a giant Sequoia) located in Sequoia National Park, California may not be the oldest, but it is the biggest–at least in terms of volume.  It is almost 3 million pounds (that’s like 14 Argentinosaureuses, the biggest dinosaur that walked the earth or 10 blue whales or three 747 jets)
  • Finally (at least for today), the tallest known tree is “Hyperion” (a Coast Redwood) located in the Redwood National Park in California (what’s with California and all of these celebritrees, anyway?!).  It’s age is unknown, but it’s is so very tall–a whopping 779 feet–taller than the Statue of Liberty.  While the “tallest trees” don’t hold that name for long (due to becoming struck by lightening or splintered by wind, or other acts of nature).  This one and the other two very tallest trees in the world are protected deep in a remote and rugged area of the Redwood National Forest to avoid one such “predator,” the well-wishers and tree-lovers.

How about those terrifical trees??!  What will you do to celebrate Earth Day?

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