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Santa Barbara Moreton Bay Fig Tree

 

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The Moreton Bay Fig Tree is a well known fixture and one of the oldest living things in the City of Santa Barbara, California as well as the nation's (US) largest of it's kind. It has a span of over 160 feet and provides more than 21,000 square feet of shade. Located at Chapala St. at U.S. Highway 101, you can see it on your way into the main shopping district of the city.


It's over 130 years old and provides enough shade to cover 16,000 people, supposedly.  This huge tree which is officially known as a ficus macrophylla, is a city landmark and as such, obtains special treatment. From nourishment to help it grow, to protection under the law that insures it will not be cut down, locals and visitors have come to know and love this beautiful giant. 

 

 Reportedly planted by a young girl who received the gift of a seed from an Australian sailor, it began to take root on July 4, 1876.  Children have climbed on it, people have camped under its branches and now, the old soul just stands in testimony to years of beautiful sunshine and temperate weather that have made it one happy lodger. It looks like it's here to stay.