The Giant Trees of Tochigi #26: The Fruitful Year Cryptomeria

#26 The Fruitful Year Cryptomeria

Number: 26
Name: The Fruitful Year Cryptomeria (豊年杉)
Type: Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica)
Height: 40m
Trunk Circumference: 10.1m
Age: unknown
Location: 栃木県鹿沼市上粕尾 (36° 34′ 29″N 139° 32′ 25″E)
Date of Visit: 2012-4-28

Along Prefectural Road 15 (The Kanuma-Ashio Line), in the village around Kamikasuo Elementary School, the giant cryptomeria called The Fruitful Year Cryptomeria stands.

It stands beside the parking lot of the Shrine Office for the nearby Nikko Shrine. Though it’s right beside the prefectural road, you cannot see it from there, nor can you access it directly from there, though one’s navi does not know this.

Above is the tree as you can see it from the Shrine Office. This is “front” of the tree, I guess.

#26 The Fruitful Year Cryptomeria

Here is the tree from the opposite side.

Though the base is one tree, here once again it is more than one tree which have grown together at the base. This seems to be a common growth habit for cryptomeria, or, at least the cryptomeria in Kanuma.

One can see here and there traces of burning on the trunk’s surface.

I stopped a passerby and asked about the burning. It wasn’t, as I thought, lightning damage, but rather, 20 or 30 years ago some children climbed inside the hollow of the tree and were playing with fire. Surely those kids must have been incredibly worried after the fire, and must have been ever so relieved that the tree didn’t die.

#26 The Fruitful Year Cryptomeria

The steel plates you can see on the back of the tree aren’t there solely to prevent rot (as they so often are in trees this size and age), but moreso to prevent mischievous children from causing trouble inside the tree again, I think.