Merton Fig Tree, Santa Barbara, CA

I have always loved trees.  Seriously felt a special affinity toward them.  There was a huge black walnut tree in the field east of my childhood home.  There were sugar maples surrounding our home, there was the tulip tree in the back of the house. All of them beautifully shaped and deciduous marking the change of seasons.  Through the years I have noticed trees, stopped in mid-step, touched the arm of  my walking companion and said “Wow, look at that tree!”

Imagine my surprise standing next to what is believed to be the largest Merton Fig tree in the United States.  Planted in 1877 it still thrives today, 134 years later.  Measured last in 1991 it reached 167 feet wide in the branching canopy.  It is 76 feet high and the trunk above the buttressed roots is 12.5 feet in diameter.  Truly a magnificent tree.

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