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How tall can a tall tree get

horthhill at my-dejanews.com horthhill at my-dejanews.com
Sun Feb 7 02:29:52 EST 1999


Just reading Eric Newby's *What the Traveller Saw*.
In it he has a picture of a *Taxodium distichum*
which is captioned as "a sort of cypress". It is
described as 160 feet in circumference at 4 feet
off the ground. This sounds big. Does anyone know
if this is approaching a record for the circumference
of trees? And, is this particular species prone to
gigantism?

The entire caption of the photo reads:
*The Great Tree of Tule*, the the churchyard of
*La Virgen de la Asuncion* on the road from
Oaxaca to Mitla, in Mexico. The largest in
Mexico, a sort of cypress (*Taxodium distichum*),
the tree was some two thousand years old and
160 feet high. Four feet above the ground it was
160 feet in circumference, and the spread of its
branches was 140 feet. In its shade Hernan Cortes
and his soldiers took a siesta while en route to
Honduras.

The caption seems to imply that it is no more,
although the book contains a two-page photo
of it. (The book was published in 1968.) Certainly,
the photo makes the tree look truly impressive.


Dave Abbott
Sidney, BC

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