TREES are one of the most breathtaking natural wonders in our world and Spain has its fair share of truly exceptional ones.
The Olive Press takes a look at some of the most beautiful and interesting trees found across Spain.
The Sacred Chestnut of Istan, Malaga
The huge and ancient chestnut tree known locally as El Castaño Sagrado can be found in an area known as Hoyo del Bote in the Sierra Real de Istan in Malaga province.
Estimated at between 800 and 1,000 years old it is likely to have been a mere sapling when the Moors ruled Spain.
But it’s trunk now has a circumference of 13.5 metres.
Roblón de Estayala, Parque Natural de Fuentes Carrionas, Castilla y León
This legendary oak tree is called “El Abuelo” by locals and is thought to be the largest and oldest tree in the Montaña Palencia in the region Castilla y Leon
Found in a forest near the town of Vañes some 32 km from Brañosera in Palencia province it lies just off the Camino de Santiago in the Parque Natural de Fuentes Carrionas
Estimated at between 500 and 800 years old, it measures 9.8metres around the base of its trunk.
Sabina Albar, Parque Natural Sierra María-Los Vélez, Almeria
On the northernmost part of Almeria province on a wind blasted plateau at 1,600 metres above sea stands an ancient juniper tree that is so special it has been awarded ‘natural monument’ status.
Estimated to be around 1,000 years old, this variety of tree dates from the dense forests of the Tertiary period of 2.5 to 65 million years ago.
You can find this tree with its gnarled trunk and thick green canopy at the eastern end of the Cordillera Bética mountain range in the Parque Natural Sierra María-Los Vélez.
Dragon tree, Tenerife
El Drago or The Dragon is also known as Drago Milenario because it is said to be over 1,000 years old.
It is the oldest and largest living specimen of dragon tree (Dracaena draco), found in the Parque del Drago, in Icod de los Vinos, on the Canary Island of Tenerife, Spain.
It is one of the symbols of Tenerife and was declared a national monument in 1917 and once appeared on the 1,000 peseta note.
It is the only tree species in the world whose sap is red and what makes this one extra unusual is that the trunk contains a 6-metre-high cavity accessible by a door, with a fan installed to provide ventilation.
Olive tree in Fuentebuena, Jaen
The town of Arroyo del Ojanco is notable for little else but this most impressive of olive trees. Such is its size that it is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest olive tree in the world and has earned itself Natural Monument status by Andalucia.
Standing at a height of 10metres and with a trunk that exceeds 4m in circumference, its canopy measures 116m2 and is thought to be more than 1,000 years old.
Encina de la Pica, Olmeda de las Fuentes Madrid
The small town of Olmeda de las Fuentes just an hour’s drive southeast from the capital Madrid is a site of pilgrimage for tree lovers.
For it is here that you can find one of the more notable trees in the Community of Madrid, a holm oak that stands over 18 metres tall and is thought to be over 900 years old.
Giant Sequoia, La Granja de San Ildefonso, Segovia
Known as La Reina, this giant sequoia stands almost 40 metres high in the gardens of the royal place in La Granja in Segovia province.
She has stood at the gates to the Royal Palace with her partner, El Rey since at least 1867 and is thought to be one of the oldest examples of the trees imported from America into into Europe.
But she is just a baby, as giant sequoias are among the tallest in the world reaching over 1,000 metres tall and with a lifespan of up to 4,000 years.
Pino Castrejon, El Hoyo de Pinares (Avila)
This tree, a variety of stone pine (Pinus pinea) stands alone next to a stream in a stretch of pasture outside Avila in Castilla y Leon and has been awarded protected status.
It is said to produce more than 2,000 pine cones in each harvest and is a favourite for family picnics offering shade beneath its vast boughs with a canopy stretching across 25 metres.
Moreton Bay Fig tree, La Orotava, Tenerife
The Ficus macrophylla, commonly known as the Moreton Bay fig or Australian banyan, is a large evergreen banyan tree of the family Moraceae native to eastern Australia. There are examples of it found in public parks across Spain but nowhere is there a more impressive example than in La Orotava park in Tenerife thanks to its enormous crown and eye-catching roots which stretch from the canopy to the ground.
Ancient yew, San Cristóbal de Valdueza, León
This sacred yew tree planted beside a chapel in the Bierzo region of Castilla y Leon is said to have stood even before the first stone was laid to build the cathedral of Leon.
Known as El Teixo, this tree provides shade over the cemetery and has grown to a height of 15m with a truck circumference of 4.75m.