Chongqing’s Green Mountains and Clear Waters Ancient Trees: Ecological Wonders, the Treasure of Ba-Yu

Ancient trees bear the memories of our culture, and Chongqing’s ancient trees have been witness to thousands of years of civilisation. Chongqing has over 25 thousand ancient trees that have born witness to our region’s development. 


Keteleeria Davidiana

One thousand five hundred year old examples can be seen Yulin in Wuxi County, deep in the Daba mountains at the border between Chongqing and Shaanxi at the Taoist temple known as Wulong Palace. They are known as "Couple Trees" by the local people. Each of them is 2.8 meters in diameter at breast height and 30 meters in height. According to the domestic and American scientists, they are the largest of thier kind in Asia.


Wuxi county was once known throughout China for its flourishing salt industry, and in ancient times the "Couple Trees" were on the trade route. Being clear landmarks, they became the place where imperial officials set up office here to handle public affairs. The town then grew up around this area.


Female Metasequoia


This was once thought extinct before being rediscovered alive in the 1940s in Lichuan, Shizhu and Longshan counties at the border of Hubei, Chongqing and Hunan provinces. In Shizhu alone has 18,530 wild metasequoia.

The tallest metasequoia trees in China are at Bajiao Temple in Wan shengba Village, Huangshui Town, Shizhu County. This 350 years old tree is known as the first Female Metasequoia in China due to its 45 meter height and 1.6 meter diameter. In 1972, Premier Zhou Enlai gave Kim Il-sung , North Korean leader the seeds of the tree.


Natural Wonder "The Ficus Virens Gate"


On the ancient road leading to the Bayue mountain in Tongliang district of Chongqing, two 300-yearold ficus virens, which were originally unrelated, suddenly embrace 3 metres in the air and merged into one. The room between the two trees formed a gate known as "The Ficus virens Gate" and allows three visitors to walk through side by side. Their trunks embrace each other and share a common trunk about 1 meter and then separate, while their branches and leaves intertwine.


Jiupa Tree in Shuanghe Town, Wulong District


This thousand-old tree in Shuanghe Town, Wulong District is a 1200-year-old Lithocarpus cleistocarpus named the Jiupa tree. It lives at 1,560 meters above sea level.

According to legend, one day, a Chinese scholar named Luo Ying came to the village. When leaning against the tree he dreamt an old man told him that the Daxiong Carve was home to a monstrous black bear which attacked the village by night. The old man

pointed to a hole in the tree and told Luo Ying to let the villagers shelter there. He told Luo to beat the bear using a shoulder hidden in the hole. After three days fighting day and night, Luo killed the bear and brought peace and harmony to the village. In order to show their gratitude, the villagers worshiped the tree each year.


Millennium Ginkgo King in Wulong


This 2500 year old ginkgo soars 25 meters over Xiaopin Village, Jielong Town, in Wulong. It takes around seven people holding hands to circle the tree.


It is said that an eminent monk and a scholar passed by in 400 BC. They found the spot conducive to studying the works of Buddha, and planted a ginkgo tree to mark the place so they could return. The local people nurtured the tree and it thrived. Although the monk and scholar never returned, the local people continued to nurture the tree in and remember them. Gradually, this seeped into local religious culture and the ginkgo tree took the place of the Bodhisattva.


Chongqing has many other trees with colorful legends which are living cultural relics.


(Source: Chongqing Forestry Administration)