Near the north end of the San Diego Natural History Museum, you will find an incredibly large tree. By incredibly large, I mean 78 feet high, 123 feet wide, and with a trunk girth of 486 inches!! At least, that's what it measured in 1996.
The Moreton Fig tree, an East Australian native, was planted from a five-gallon container in 1914. Many trees were planted in Balboa Park around this time to prepare for the 1915 Panama-California International Exposition.
Here is an example of a Moreton Fig tree and its roots. This isn't the tree in Balboa Park, though.
When I first moved to San Diego, you could actually climb on the aerial or surface roots and sit under the tree for a picnic. However, all this foot traffic began to damage the roots and affect the health of the tree. In 1989, a fence was built around the tree, which has completely recovered and is doing very well now, thankyouverymuch. People do still picnic under the tree.
The Moreton Fig tree and the fig wasp share an interesting relationship. The tree is only pollinated by the fig wasp. And the fig wasp can only reproduce in fig flowers. In this complicated world of dating and courtship and global warming, this doesn't seem wise!
In Balboa Park, you will find other smaller Morteon Bay Figs along with 32 other kinds of fig trees. Here's the link to a previous My Town Monday post I did on Balboa Park
In the interests of fair reporting, I must tell you that the famous Santa Barbara Moreton Bay Fig tree has a wider canopy than ours. However, the tree is shorter. The two trees are listed as CO-CHAMPIONS in the California Registry of Big Trees. No, I am not making this up!
The largest Moreton Fig tree in the world is located on a cattle farm near Egg-rock in Queensland, Australia. It measured ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-ONE FEET in 2006!
Here's the address for the San Diego tree:
Moreton Bay Fig Tree
San Diego, Ca 92101
And the phone number:
Ha! Gotcha! (But the address is real.)
Our regular head honcho Travis Erwin is moving. Although he still managed to post a My Town Monday! Jenn Jilks is pinch-hitting for Travis, and she'll have all our links. Thanks Jenn!