Santa Barbara is known for countless attractions and opportunities for fun. One of the more unlikely of these attractions is a tree located close to the center of the city. It is the Moreton Bay Fig Tree that sits at the end of State Street. Locals and visitors have fell in love with this tree for decades; read on to find out why!
The Story of the Tree
The story of how this amazing tree got here is a large part of what makes it so cool! As the story goes, there was a sailor who made his way to Santa Barbara. In his time here, he presented the seed of an Australian Moreton Bay Fig Tree to a girl who lived in the area. This girl planted the seed in the ground of Santa Barbara.
The Tree Today
What started as a small gesture from a sailor and a small seed in the ground has grown into one of the most spectacular sites that you will see on your next trip to Santa Barbara. From its initial spot on 201 Street, it was moved and moved again to where it sits now at the end of State Street near Stearns Wharf. It is fitting that this amazing tree sits near the heart of the city.
The tree is classified as a Ficus macrophylla and it is the largest such tree in all of the United States. It stands tall at 80 feet, with a massive canopy that spreads 198 feet. The trunk is massive, with a maximum diameter 12.5 feet. But perhaps the most impressive part of the tree is the astoundingly huge roots that stretch from the base of the trunk.
Why Should You Care?
There are few things that you encounter in life that truly astound you and play a part in shifting your perspective, even if it is ever so slightly. The luckier you are, the more of these you will see. This tree is a phenomenal example such an experience. In a more practical sense, this tree simply provides an amazing place to spend time. There is nothing quite like stretching out under the massive expanse of shade that it provides to have a picnic with loved ones on the grass.
The Moreton Bay Fig Tree in Santa Barbara has been a fixture of the community for over a century, and with one visit, you will understand why. While you should definitely consider spending a day with the tree, no Santa Barbara trip is complete without at least a quick visit to appreciate this spectacle.
Photo By DO’Neil at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1045004