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Yakushima, Japan Adventure - Sugi

12/28/2003

Yakushima, Japan, the Floating Alps. Home of the ancients, World Heritage island. Photos of the famous cedar "sugi" trees.

Other photos available: Yakushima Forest; Mountain Views; and Yakushima Waters. Also, read more about the World Heritage, park, and ecosystem of Yakushima here.

Yakushima photos - Yaku-sugi

The most amazing thing about the Sugi "cedar" of Yaku-shima is the life they have, and share. These trees grow and grow. They grow together, and they support other plant life. As many as 30 different species of trees, herbs, plants, and mosses have been observed growing from the surface of some of the greater sugi trees here. Some of the photos below also show all these symbiotic life forms.

reborn sugi

Yayoi Sugi (cedar)
yayoi sugi

Yayoi Sugi cedar. Height 26.1 meters. Circumference at shoulder height: 8.1 meters. Age: about 3000 years. Altitude: 710 meters. Epiphytes (plant life growing from the surface of the Sugi): about 10 listed.

yayoi sugi

yayoi sugi

Epiphytes on Yayoi Sugi: these small trees grow from a recess on the side of the trunk. Other plants grow from the branches higher up, or even the lofty crown sometimes.



Sen-nen Sugi (1000 years)
Sen-nen sugi


Sen-nen sugi

The rich, dense forest, and the constant damp climate and rainfall make this rainforest ecosystem unique in the world.

sugi


sugi


Botsu sugi


Great Sugi


Kigen Sugi 
Kigen sugi

Epiphytes on Kigen sugi: A great example of these trees, mosses, and plants growing off the side of a cedar.



Kigen sugi

Kigen Sugi. Height: 19.5m; Circumference at shoulder height: 8.1m; Age: 3000 years; Altitude: 1230m; Epiphytes: about 13 listed.



Kigen sugi


Kigen sugi

Unfortunately, many of the most stately, prime Yaku-sugi trees were chopped down as gifts for shoguns and rulers during the past several hundred years. As a result, the remaining sugi are some of the least representative specimens - they were left behind because of some flaw or another in their location or shape. Here is a view from inside of one of the remaining hollowed-out stumps.

Stump

And a cedar which fell over many years ago and is slowly decomposing back into this rich forest.

Fallen cedar


Fallen cedar


The Wilson stump: a tall, splendid cedar specimen once stood here.

Fallen cedar


The famous Jomon Sugi is in a deep, dark place high up the island mountain. The hike there and back requires the full day, and usually more is recommended. Camping in mountain huts en route is the norm.

Jomon Sugi


Jomon Sugi 

Front view of Jomon Sugi. This tree is estimated to be the oldest Cedar "sugi" here left intact. Shogun and emperors in earlier eras of Japan cut down the well-formed, tall and straight cedar trees. Jomon Sugi has a unique, hunched and buckled shape. It's age is estimated at from 3000 to 7000 or more years.

Jomon Sugi



Jomon Sugi


Sugi in Mist


Sugi in Mist


Fuufu Sugi: The Husband-and-wife Cedar. The trees are joined by the horizontal branch between them. Although not uncommon in the dense forest of this island, this is the most pronounced example of trees growing together.

Fuufu Sugi


3rd-generation cedar: this tree is estimated to be nearly 400 years old. According to the diagram, remnants of the parent and grandparent ancestors of this tree are visible. 3G Sugi


Cut Sugi





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