The large Moreton Bay Fig tree in Balboa Park.

This is one of the largest trees you're likely to ever see.
This is one of the most amazing trees you’re likely to ever see.

Have you visited Balboa Park? Perhaps you’ve seen an incredibly enormous tree standing between the San Diego Natural History Museum and Spanish Village. It’s impossible to miss! That’s the over 100 year old Moreton Bay Fig!

Sign in Balboa Park describes Ficus macrophylla, the Moreton Bay Fig.
Sign in Balboa Park describes Ficus macrophylla, the Moreton Bay Fig.

Ficus macrophylla

“Moreton Bay Fig”

Native to East Australia

This tree was planted prior to the 1915 Panama-California International Exposition and was the focus of a Formal Garden located at this site. Because of its large size, it is listed as a co-champion with the Santa Barbara Fig in the California Dept. of Forestry Registry of Big Trees.

Age: over 100 years (now)

Height: 80 feet

Trunk Girth: 42 feet

Canopy width: 145 feet

Trunk and roots of a tree once climbed by kids, but now fenced off for its protection.
Trunk and roots of a tree once climbed by kids, but now fenced off for its protection.
Huge Moreton Bay Fig tree and the San Diego Natural History Museum.
Huge Moreton Bay Fig tree and the San Diego Natural History Museum.
A big tree is a rare and valuable part of the ecosystem.
A big tree is a rare and valuable part of the ecosystem.

The Value of a Big Tree

Trees contribute to our environment by producing oxygen; reducing temperature, carbon-dioxide and stormwater runoff; improving property value and providing wildlife habitat.

Scientists have developed a value formula to determine the cost benefit of trees. The Center for Urban Forest Research states that trees over 50 feet tall contribute about $65.00/year back to the environment. Smaller trees contribute $18-36.00/year. There are about 20,000 trees in Balboa Park which contribute a value of one million dollars per year back to our environment.

Beyond dollars, Big Trees like the Moreton Bay Fig enhance the park, provide a sense of history to our community and a legacy for our children.

Someone gazes at the hundred year old leafy giant in Balboa Park.
Someone gazes at the hundred year old leafy giant in Balboa Park.

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Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

7 thoughts on “The large Moreton Bay Fig tree in Balboa Park.”

  1. It’s stunning, I got to see it last week. We also walked through Palm Canyon for the first time EVER in my life (shameful I had never been there as a native San Diegan). I have a post coming up about that tomorrow! Nice post with the info! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amazing! Does it produce figs? A natural question, but sometimes trees are named for other reasons. It also reminds me somewhat of our banyan trees in Florida. Some of the limbs grow down into the ground and become roots.

    Liked by 1 person

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