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Arbol Del Tule

Arbol Del TuleEl Árbol del Tule (Spanish for "the Tule Tree") is a very large tree located in the church grounds in the town center of Santa Mari­a del Tule in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, approximately 13 km from the city of Oaxaca on the road to Mitla. The tree is 43 meters (135 feet) in height, , has a circumference of 35.87 meters (139 feet), and has the largest diameter of any tree in the world at 11.42 meters, and it has a volume of 24,893 cubic feet (705 cubic meters) and weighs approximately 1,119,844 pounds (509,020 kilograms). It is so large that it was originally thought to be multiple trees, but recent DNA tests have proved that it is only one tree (Dorado et al, 1996). This does not rule out another theory, that it comprises multiple trunks from a single individual. The age of El Tule is unknown, with estimates ranging between 1200 and 3000 years. Local Zapotec legend holds that it was planted about 1400 years ago by Pechocha, a priest of Ehecatl, the Aztec storm-god (Pakenham 2002); its position on a sacred site (later taken over by the Roman Catholic Church) would tend to support this.

El Tule Tree Animals

The tree is nicknamed the "Tree of Life" for all the images of animals that are reputedly visible in the tree's gnarled trunk. As part of an official project local schoolkids give tourists a tour of the tree and show all manners of creatures that the tree trunk's features forms known popularly as "The Elephant", "The Lion", "The Three Wise Men" "The Deer", "The Coconut", and "The Fish", among others. In fact, if you visit you will be offered a tour of the tree by local school children who will show you all of creatures hiding in the tree. They work for tips and will make sure that you see all of the various animals.

El Tule Tree Deer Head Arbol del Tule Elephant
El Tule Tree Oaxaca - Deer Head El Arbol del Tule - Elephant


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