FREE TREE GIVEAWAY!!!
Yes, that's right, I'll give you a free tree. What type of tree you ask? The most beautiful tree in all the world, Ficus macrophylla, more commonly known as the Moreton Bay Fig. The Moreton Bay Fig is a rainforest tree native to the North Eastern Coast of Australia. It is evergreen with large richly green foliage thus its Latin binomial scientific name "Ficus macrophylla" translated as "Ficus" for fig family, "macro" for large and "phylla" for "leaf". The tree can grow to massive proportions and because of such has evolved to employ a wide spreading buttressed root system to keep it standing upright despite hurricanes being occassionaly thrown its way in its native habitat. This is the tree that Disneyland's Robinson Crusoe Treehouse artifical tree is modeled after. In fact, the exhibit is additionally surrounded by a grove of the real thing. Next time you are there, take a good look for them.
F. macrophylla is such a gorgeous tree that it often becomes a tourist attraction over the years. Such is the case in Santa Barbara at the train station. There can be seen the largest spreading free standing, unsupported tree in The Continental United States. At 200' across at its widest point, it's spread is wider than the longest NFL field goal ever kicked by over 10'. Even the great Sebastion Janikowski can't kick it over this tree!
The famed Santa Barbara tree as it appears today in a photo with yours truly dwarfed in front of it, was given to a young girl from an Austrailan seaman as a seedling way back in 1876 on our first centennial as a nation and while Santa Barbara was just a sleepy port village. The girl planted the baby tree and now the rest is history. I strongly urge that you go visit this tree for a magically botanical transcendental experience, and to touch the past. Note: in the image below, keep in mind that I am standing 100' closer to you than is the center of the trunk of the tree, and I still appear tiny.
Check out the massive buttressed trunk on this big boy!
And so although The Moreton Bay Fig is perfectly hardy for most all SF bayside locations, the tree is very rare here with just a few scattered larger specimens existing in the region. One of the reasons the tree is so rare is that all nurseries stopped growing it as typical garden spaces became smaller. The tree gets so massive it needs a huge space to spread out on and there are not many of these left. This limits it mainly to larger parks and public institutions. Following in the spirit of the Austrailian mariner visiting Santa Barbara over a 140 years ago, I have been on a personal life long quest to increase the numbers of these trees in the Bay Area by propogating them myself then working them into plantings whenever I find opportunity. I have planted several on the grounds of the Oakland Zoo. Go take a look and see if you can find them. The first I donated to the zoo as a large specimen in 1993 and it's getting big being planted at the base of the Malaysion Sunbear Exhibit. Others are at the front entrance planted some years later but also beefing out.
The future unborn children of the San Francisco Bay Area who want to climb these unplanted magnificent trees are counting on you! If you don't act, scenes like this won't happen.
So if you have a public location that has ample room and reliable irrigation within the Bay Area in climate zones 15, 16, and 17, email me send me pics and tell me all about it and make your argument as to why this location is so special as to deserve one of my babies.