Following on from the ‘Nazgul fossil’ story Matt sent us is a description of another living wonder that could come straigth from Middle-earth – and it’s actually been called the ‘Iluvatar Tree.’
It’s from a book called Forest Trees of the Pacific Coast [here on Amazon.com]
Matt says, “Illuvatar is described in the book as “the Creator of the universe in Tolkien mythology”. The book is very well done. There’s a drawing of each tree featured (difficult to do, since not all of them stand far enough from other trees to afford a clear view) and a photo or two of each as well. Detailed measurement are provided for each tree (height, volume of wood in cubic ft., branching complexity “points” and diameter at various heights).
The Illuvatar Tree (a Coast Redwood) is indeed described as “the most architecturally complex tree on earth”. It has to do with the number of branches, their offshoots and the total volume covered by the branching/leaf area. The tree is 300 feet tall (I recently saw a 241 foot tree in Portland, and *that* was incredible!) and was only recently discovered and named. One of the cool things about the book is that it shows that the prime specimens of many of the tree types covered in the book were only identified in the last few years. Lots of adventure still out there, if you’re a tree seeker…”