Tnjri (Skhtorashen plane-tree)
Most likely the largest plane-tree (Platanus orientalis L.) in the world grows in Karabakh. This tree, reportedly, is more than 2,030 years old and its trunk has a circumference of 27 m.
Name in Armenian
Map of the site
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Once upon a time, Skhtorashen village was lively, full of people. Nowadays it is almost abandoned and the lush vegetation of Karabakh takes over the sites where some decades ago were standing houses. War and political uncertainty have left a heavy toll on this gorgeous land.
Not far from the village stands silent witness – giant tree. This plane tree, reportedly, is more than 2,000 years old and has seen a lot during its long life. According to stories this tree – Tnjri – has been visited by many famous people – such as the inventor of the Armenian alphabet Mesrop Mashtots (the 5th century AD), first Armenian historian Movses Khorenatsi (the 5th century AD), musician and poet Sayat-Nova (the 18th century).
The tree is sacred to local people and traditions prohibit doing any harm to Tnjri. Not always this veneration is good for the tree – there are left countless inscriptions in the giant hollow, often there have been left burning candles in the hollow.
Unfortunately, more than once there have been attempts to incinerate the tree in the past but nevertheless, it lives. For a while, there was hired a guard to protect Tnjri.
Largest plane-tree in the world?
The circumference of the tree is very large – 27 m. It is not known to Wondermondo whether this is measured at the base of Tnjri or at the classic 1.3 m height. One source (In Russian: Anokhin G.I., 1999., Three fates) states that circumference at the base is 31.5 m, thus it is possible that 27 m are measured at the breast height.
The height of Tnjri is very impressive – 54 m. The tree has a hollow with an area of 44 m², and the projection of foliage on the ground is 1,400 m² large.
Between the roots of this tree starts Tengru spring – the main supply of water to Skhtorashen village. Tengru in Armenian means “remote water”.
Tnjri was declared to be the largest and oldest tree in the former Soviet Union. Most likely it is the largest plane tree in the world.
It is known that some time ago there was a larger one: in the last century there existed a giant plane tree in Turkey, Büyükdere village which, reportedly, had 32 m in circumference – but no trace of this tree remains.
Tnjri is included in the following articles:
Wonders of Azerbaijan
Few countries have such unusual, exotic landmarks as Azerbaijan. Here are found such natural and man-made wonders as most of the world’s mud volcanoes, natural eternal flames, a town with 300 km long bridges, and others.
Wonders of Asia
Any other continent (and part of the world) seems small if compared to Asia. This refers also to natural and man-made heritage: in Asia are not just thousands of great landmarks, there are found landmarks created by thousands of diverse cultures from ancient Phoenicians to the mysterious small people in the Philippines and eastern islands of Indonesia.
The category includes some of the most impressive and interesting separate trees in the world. The total number of tree species in the world still is a wild guess – maybe 10,000 and maybe 100,000 but most likely somewhere in between. Every month there are reported new tree species from the whole world, including Western Europe.
Karabakh: The Secret Garden
A photographic portrait of the country of the impossible. A little known part of Armenia, Karabakh has been fought over for centuries. This lush, green mountainous region is made up of unexplored forests, timeless villages, and two cities that were once capitals in different ages. In short, a last, unforgettable paradise.
Ancient Trees: Trees That Live For 1,000 Years
Parker’s many beautiful, full-color images contribute a great deal, but what makes this book especially interesting is a discussion of the roles these trees have played through the ages in human religions, myths, economies, and everyday life.