Ever since moving to the city of Orange last year, I found myself fascinated by this enormous tree whenever I’d drive past. While out with Kat this past Sunday, we stopped so I could take some pictures. Kat’s posing near the roots so you can get an idea of the size.I was thrilled to see the dedication plaque at the tree’s base. I was even more excited when I put my math skills to use and realized Old Man Fig turned 140 years old last Friday, March 6!I’ve driven past a similar, huge tree in Santa Barbara, up the coast, north of Los Angeles. According to Wikipedia, that tree was planted in 1876, a year later than Old Man Fig of Orange, and is considered to be the largest in the United States. I wonder if anyone’s ever measured our tree. Maybe he now holds the world record. I like to think he does!!
I became a bit more curious as to what was going on in the world when our giant tree was planted, and came across this link to Historical Events for Year 1875. I dug a little more, did a search on Henri F Gardner (the name on the plaque), and found a link to an article written by Nathan Masters for LA as Subject in 2013, with vintage photos of other Moreton Fig trees. Isn’t it amazing how being curious can lead us on such interesting journeys?! ~SueBee
Further information about Henri F Gardner was found at this link, and is pasted below: