Weird and Wonderful Trees from Around the World

dragon blood trees Dragon Blood Trees

Also known as Dracaena cinnabari, and the Socotra dragon tree, these distinctive trees are native to the Socotra archipelago in the Indian Ocean, the name hailing from the red ‘dragon blood’ like resin produced by the trees.

crooked tree forest, poland Crooked Tree Forest

Located in West Pomerania, Poland, stand around 400 curved trees, collectively named 'The Crooked Forest'. It's estimated that the trees were planted between 1930 and 1934, while Pomerania was still under German rule. Nobody is entirely certain what caused the trees' unusual shape, with some believing it to be a result of heavy snowfall while the trees were very young. However the more likely theory is that the trees were forced to bend deliberately, in order to harvest the wood for the production of goods such as boats or furniture.

circus trees - Axel Erlandson Circus Trees

These incredible 'Circus Trees' were manipulated to grow this way, initially as a hobby, by the late Axel Erlandson (1884 – 1964). Erlandson later moved the best of his trees to a roadside location in Scotts Valley, California, after realising he could charge people to see them. How he managed to get the trees to take on such incredible forms remains, to this day, a secret.

bottle trees Bottle Trees

Native to Namibia and Southern Angola, Bottle trees are not only some of the world's strangest looking trees, they are also some of the most poisonous. Used by local populations as a poison for hunting arrows, the Bottle Tree's sap can cause blindness if it comes into contact with the eyes.

Silk Cotton Trees of Ta Prohm Silk Cotton Trees of Ta Prohm

Also known by the name Bombax, these incredible trees have consumed the ruins of Ta Prohm, an ancient Cambodian temple dating back to 1186 A.D.

peach palm Peach Palm Trees

Despite the intimidating appearance of these trees, the fruits of the Peach Palm (or Bactris Gasipaes) are highly nutritious and diverse - they can be eaten in their entirety after boiling, pounded into a flour, or fermented into a drink.

tree of life Tree of Life

Bahrain's Tree of Life may not look particularly special, however it's certainly unusual - it's 400 years old, situated in the desert where there are no other trees for miles, and has no clear water supply. As a result, it's a popular tourist attraction, drawing in around 50,000 visitors a year. It's also a tree of legend: local inhabitants believe the tree marks the location of the Garden of Eden.

inside and outside the chapel tree The Chapel Tree

France's most famous tree: The Chapel Tree is around 1,000 years old, and stands at 50 feet high, with a matching circumference of about the same size. However, the most incredible thing about this tree is that its trunk houses two chapels: Our Lady of Peace, and the Hermit's Room. The first chapel, Our Lady of Peace, was created when a lightning strike caused the tree to hollow. The village priest believed the strike was an intentional act of God, so built a place of pilgrimage in the resulting hollow. Years later, the top chapel was added, along with the staircase needed to reach it.


Photo Credits:

Gerry and Bonni - Rod Waddington - Brian Jeffery Beggerly - Alex Popovkin

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