El Árbol del Tule

Landmark in El Tule

Visitors flock to the village of El Tule to behold El Árbol del Tule, which is, by some counts, the fattest tree in the world. California's General Sherman sequoia is ahead in total volume, but at 14m in diameter, El Árbol del Tule certainly has the world's widest trunk. This vast ahuehuete (Montezuma cypress), 42m high, dwarfs the pretty 17th-century village church in whose churchyard it towers.

The tree is reckoned to be over 2000 years old, which means it was already growing when the ancient city of Monte Albán was in its infancy. Much revered by Oaxacans, the Árbol del Tule appears to be healthy, though there are potential threats to it from local urban growth and irrigated agriculture, which tap its water sources.

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