"A venerable giant" Top 5 Page for this destination Tree of Tule Tip by TheWanderingCamel

Tree of Tule, Oaxaca de Juárez: 6 reviews and 14 photos

  El arbol de Tule
by TheWanderingCamel
  • El arbol de Tule - Oaxaca de Juárez
      El arbol de Tule
    by TheWanderingCamel
  • Sweets from the sweet - Oaxaca de Juárez
      Sweets from the sweet
    by TheWanderingCamel
  • Massive girth - Oaxaca de Juárez
      Massive girth
    by TheWanderingCamel
  • Santa Maria del Tule - Oaxaca de Juárez
      Santa Maria del Tule
    by TheWanderingCamel
  • Did you see? - Oaxaca de Juárez
      Did you see?
    by TheWanderingCamel

El Tule's ancient ahuehuete (water cypress) tree is reputed to have the largest girth of any tree on earth. It may be, it may not - one thing is for sure - it is one big tree: 58 metres around - that's getting on for 200 feet!! It is also incredibly old - possibly as much as 3,000 years - that means it was already growing when nearby Monte Alban was first being built. It really is a venerable giant and deserves all the attention it gets.

The ahuehuete is Mexico's national tree, and this one is a national monument. Ahuehuetes grow to enormous size and live to a great age. It is thought that the Tree of Tule may the world's largest single biomass. Recent DNA studies of the trunk have shown that it is indeed one single trunk, and not several trunks that have fused together.

For a few pesos one of green-track-suited children will take you for a walk around the trunk and, using a mirror to focus a point of light on the the bumps and whorls of the trunk and branches, they'll show you the creatures and features that are variously identified as a lion, and elephant, a bunch of garlic, a reindeer, etc.

There are six other ancient cypresses around the village, but none of the others can match this one.

Apart from the trees, there's not much else to see in El Tule, the church is nothing very special - though the nuns who sell their almond cookies and bottles of dolce de leche are very sweet and demure and there's a pleasant garden to walk around.

Address: Santa Maria del Tule
Directions: Tours to Monte Alban usually include a quick stop here, otherwise you could catch a bus from Oaxaca - it's only 10km and a few cents fare from the city and buses run every 10 minutes or so.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Oct 11, 2007
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