Another ancient tree has replaced the "Alishan sacred tree" as "tree king" of the Alishan Forest Recreation Area, nine years after the original's demise.
The "Alishan Sacred Tree," was in the past one of the nation's most famous tourist attractions, but the venerable 3,000-year-old tree collapsed on July 1, 1997 following heavy rainstorms.
Nowadays, tourists can only imagine the tree's past glory by viewing its trunk, which is on display at its original site.
Lee Wen-hua (李文華), president of the Alishan Community Development Association in Chiayi, said that the new "tree king" is located by the New Central Cross-Island Expressway which links Alishan and Hsinyi Township (信義) in Nantou County.
Lee said that tourists could get out of their cars at the 88.9-km point of the expressway and walk for a few minutes to get to the site of the new "tree king," called the Lulin Sacred Tree (
Approximately 2,700 years old, the Lulin Sacred Tree is 43m high with a trunk circumference of 20m.
It is the second-largest sacred tree in the country, after the 2,500-year-old Taan Creek Sacred Tree located in Taichung County, which has a trunk circumference of 26m.
Lee noted that the giant Lulin Sacred Tree looks like a large stone wall covered with green moss.
Due to its location at the lower part of a steep precipice and some distance from the main road, it failed to draw the attention of many tourists in the past.
Forestry authorities have only recently constructed a wooden walkway and viewing platform revealing the tree's beauty to more people.