Top ten special trees in the world

"A tree is a wonderful living organism which gives shelter, food, warmth and protection to all living things. It even gives shade to those who wield an axe to cut it down" – Buddha.

#1 - Baobah

Baobah tree
Baobah tree, Baobah tree, Baobah tree, Baobah tree, Baobah tree, Baobah tree
#1 - Baobah: More photos
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Often referred to as 'grotesque' by some authors, the main stem of larger baobab trees may reach enormous proportions of up to 28 m in girth. Although baobab trees seldom exceed a height of 25 m. The massive, usually squat cylindrical trunk gives rise to thick tapering branches resembling a root-system, which is why it has often been referred to as the upside-down tree. FlowerThere is a tale which tells of how God planted them upside-down. Many traditional Africans believe that the baobab actually grows upside-down.

#2 - Methuselah Grove Prometheus

Methuselah Grove Prometheus
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#2 - Methuselah Grove Prometheus: More photos
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The Oldest of the Old, a tree known as Methuselah had begun its life 200+ years earlier. This truly Ancient One lives to this day. In 2001, at the age of 4,767 years old, it well may be the oldest living thing on the planet. Methuselah, even at its advanced age, is capable of reproduction. In 1972, a small cone was found growing from Methuselah. Members of the Park Service carefully harvested the solitary pine cone. It was found to contain 96 seeds. Each seed was tenderly planted in a growth medium and amazingly, each seed sprouted a Bristlecone Pine seedling. This, from a tree which is almost 4 3/4 millennia old.

#3 - Circus Trees

Circus Trees
Circus Trees, Circus Trees, Circus Trees, Circus Trees, Circus Trees, Circus Trees, Circus Trees
#3 - Circus Trees: More photos
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The Circus Trees were originally grown and created by Axel Erlandson, son of a Swedish immigrant. Inspired by observing a natural graft between two sycamore trees, Erlandson began to shape trees using intricate techniques. His techniques resulted in woven wonders made from living wood. The branches were carefully bent rather than cut and became complex and compound designs.
This botanical adventure began in Hilmar, CA in the 1920s. Erlandson planted the "Four Legged Giant," surprising his family when he brought the four trees together into one. In 1946, Erlandson moved his family and his trees to Scotts Valley, CA. A year later he opened "The Tree Circus" for locals and tourists to experience the wonder of the "World's Strangest Trees." By 1957 Erlandson had created more than 70 Circus Trees. Ripley's Believe It Or Not featured the trees in the 40s and 50s. In 1957 a Life magazine article gave the trees notoriety. After Erlandson's death in 1964, the trees became part of a Scotts Valley attraction know as "The Lost World." In 1977 the property was sold with only 40 trees surviving.
A local Santa Cruz architect, Mark Primack, led a valient effort to save the trees, even risking arrest for trespassing in order to water and feed the trees. Keeping as many alive as he could, Primack's efforts finally took root when they attracted the attention of tree lover Michael Bonfante. In 1985, Bonfante rescued the surviving 29 Circus Trees and gave them a home in Gilroy, CA.
There are 25 Circus Trees still alive today.

#4 - Banyan Tree

Banyan Tree
Banyan Tree, Banyan Tree
#4 - Banyan Tree: More photos
Banyan Tree Banyan Tree

A banyan tree, native to India and part of the Mulberry family, is an enormous tree with many uses and a vast history. Young plants put forth roots, which form secondary trunks to support the expansive limbs. These trunks send out more roots until they crowd out the host tree.
The leaves of the banyan tree are large, leathery, and used as animal fodder. The tree produces figs which are popular with birds and monkeys, and also produces flowers that attract wasps for pollination. Older trees can reach more than 200 meters (656 feet) in diameter, with a height of 30 meters (98 feet).

#5 - Tree of Life in Bahrain

, Tree of Life in Bahrain
#5 - Tree of Life in Bahrain: More photos
Tree of Life in Bahrain

The Tree of Life in Bahrain is four century old mesquite tree which survives in the midst of desert. The mystery of the survival of the tree has made it a legend. People from all over the Middle East and the world make it a point to visit this place to see this magic of nature. The name 'tree of life' is absolutely appropriate for the tree as it truly represents the magic of life. A legend is also attached to the site where the tree is located. The local inhabitants believe with heart and soul that this was the actual location of the Garden of Eden.

#6 - Crooked Forest - Poland

Crooked Forest - Poland
Crooked Forest - Poland, Crooked Forest - Poland
#6 - Crooked Forest - Poland: More photos
Crooked Forest - Poland Crooked Forest - Poland

In a tiny corner of western Poland a forest of about 400 pine trees grow with a 90 degree bend at the base of their trunks - all bent northward. Surrounded by a larger forest of straight growing pine trees this collection of curved trees, or "Crooked Forest," is a mystery.

Planted around 1930, the trees managed to grow for seven to 10 years before getting held down, in what is understood to have been human mechanical intervention. Though why exactly the original tree farmers wanted so many crooked trees is unknown.

#7 - Montezuma Cypress - The Tule Tree

Montezuma Cypress - The Tule Tree
Montezuma Cypress - The Tule Tree, Montezuma Cypress - The Tule Tree
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Montezuma Cypress - The Tule Tree Montezuma Cypress - The Tule Tree

The Tule Tree, or El Árbol del Tule, is a Montezuma cypress tree on the grounds of a church in Santa María del Tule in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. It measures more than 119 feet around but is only 116 feet high (To put that in perspective, the General Sherman is 275 feet high and 102 feet around). It's believed that the tree is about 2,000 years old. Local legend holds that the tree was planted 1,400 years ago by a priest of the Aztec storm god. According to National Geographic, it is the inspiration for an annual festival in Oaxaca celebrated on the second Monday of October.

#8 - Dragon's Blood Tree

Dragon's Blood Tree
Dragon's Blood Tree, Dragon's Blood Tree, Dragon's Blood Tree
#8 - Dragon's Blood Tree: More photos
Dragon's Blood Tree Dragon's Blood Tree Dragon's Blood Tree

Arguably the most famous and distinctive plant of the island of Socotra, the evocatively named dragon’s blood tree has a unique and bizarre appearance, its upturned, densely-packed crown having the shape of an upside-down umbrella. This evergreen species is named for its dark red resin, known as “dragon’s blood”, a substance which has been highly prized since ancient times. The dragon’s blood tree has been the major commercial source of this resin, and many myths surround the unusual trees.

#9 - Chapel-Oak of Allouville-Bellefosse

Chapel-Oak of Allouville-Bellefosse
Chapel-Oak of Allouville-Bellefosse
#9 - Chapel-Oak of Allouville-Bellefosse: More photos
Chapel-Oak of Allouville-Bellefosse

Like something out of a fairy tale (or Keebler elves commercial) this ancient oak tree's hollowed out trunk is is home to two small chapels, reached by a spiral staircase surrounding the truck. This, the oldest known tree in France, has lived through Louis XIV, the French Revolution, Napoleon, Sarkozy, and amazingly, is still standing.
Located in the small French farming village of Allouville-Bellefosse France, according to local lore, the tree has grown in pace with the development of the French country itself. Said to have begun growing 1000 years ago (which would make it one of the oldest trees in the world) during the reign of Charlemagne, and in 1035, William the Conqueror is supposed to have knelt at its base. While scientists say the tree is only around 800 years old -- too young to have been around in the age of Charlemagne -- it is nonetheless, by far, the oldest known tree in France.

#10 - General Sherman

Giant Sequoia General Sherman
Giant Sequoia General Sherman
#10 - General Sherman: More photos
Giant Sequoia General Sherman

The General Sherman Tree is one of the most-visited sequoias in the United States. Although many sequoias met their demise in turn-of-the-century lumber mills, the General Sherman Tree escaped that fate and is now part of Sequoia National Park. Its National Park Service sign names it as "The Largest Living Thing on Earth" which is easy to believe when standing next to its massive girth.

Candidates submitted by readers

# 11
Drive Thru Tree in Yosemite National ParkHyperion coast redwoodDrive Thru Tree in Yosemite National ParkHyperion coast redwood

The coast redwood, the world's tallest tree, is one of the three sequoia tree species. With its relatively slender silhouette this tree can grow even up to 20 m or 60 ft taller than the tallest giant sequoias, that are nevertheless the biggest trees in the world, when looking at the volume of the trunk. The tallest known living tree, named Hyperion, is 115.55 m or 379.1 ft (measured in 2006) tall! This gets close to 120 to 130 m, that, according to a 2004 biological study, is the maximum attainable height of a tree.