HomeNews & LifestyleThe Arbol Del Tule Is Proof That Mother Nature Is Miraculous

The Arbol Del Tule Is Proof That Mother Nature Is Miraculous

The Arbol Del Tule (or Tule Tree) Is As Massive As It Is Miraculous

Have you ever been in a forest and marvelled at the strength and size of a tree? I have. They’re amazing examples of fortitude. I remember being in school and learning how you can tell the age of a tree based on its rings. How cool is that?

There’s a massive tree in Oaxaca which, if you were to count its rings, would take you a very long time.

How Old Is The Tree?

Arbol del Tule
Image: @bike.roadtrips.oaxaca on Instagram

Most say that the tree is approximately 1,500 years old. Some estimates even place it over 2,000 – 3,000 years old. This Ahuehuete Cypress is among the oldest living trees in the world, similar to this gingko tree we wrote about recently.

In fact, it’s almost as old as Mitla, the Zapotec religious site where visitors come from all over to visit. It’s located inside a gated churchyard in the town of Santa Maria del Tule. You’ll also find that the Tule Tree is officially the widest tree in the world.

How Did It Grow To be So Large?

The tree is so large that it literally dwarfs the church beside it. Measurements vary, but the Tule Tree is approximately 190 feet in circumference, 138 feet tall, and can provide shade for around 500 people!

Arbol del tule
Image: @oaxacaparaisocultural on Instagram

Experts once believed that it was so large it could only feasibly be a merger between multiple trees. However, modern DNA analysis has established that the Tule is the massive result of one individual strain of tree. The Ahuehuete Cypress is native to Mexico and Guatemala, and means “old man of the water”.

How it got so large is beyond understanding, but locals do believe that it has to do with the sacred land upon which it grows. It has been celebrated for centuries.

What Does The Tree Mean To The Locals?

arbol del tule
Image: @sacrificiomezcal on Instagram

In the 20th century, much of the population of Santa Maria del Tule turned to farming for their living. They grew corn, beans, chickpeas and alfalfa. When industrialization changed things, the economy of this small town in Oaxaca became more diverse. Because of this, the tree became the hub of tourism for the community.

As many as 3/4 of the town’s population rely directly on the tree for their living. With thousands of years of history, the Aztecs and Spanish have found meaning in this sacred tree which extends beyond what most cultures can comprehend.

Beyond the meaning and the history, the tree’s knotted trunk also ignites the imagination of locals and visitors alike. Many have found the images of different monsters, animals, and even famous personalities in its gnarled and textured tree trunk.

How To See Arbol Del Tule

Arbol del Tule
Image: @daesme28 on Instagram

You can see this beautiful tree if you take a trip to Oaxaca. Santa Maria del Tule is located about eight miles from Oaxaca on the way to Mitla. You can reach it easily by bus or car.

If you’re interested taking a tour, you can do so from Oaxaca every day of the week. Here’s the geolocation if you want to do some research and plan a trip to this one-of-a-kind tree in Santa Maria, Oaxaca, Mexico!

Arbol del Tule
Image: @idalidaen on Instagram


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