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SPRING VALLEY -- Just off State Route 94 sits an enormous tree that has been there for generations.
The Moreton Bay Fig Tree is 143 years old. It’s the oldest Moreton Bay Fig Tree in California and one of the biggest in the U.S.
However, despite its size, you could miss it driving down the highway. Step in close and you’ll see something that looks extraterrestrial. Step back, and you’ll realize those massive roots are extraordinary.
The tree sits on the McRae Ranch. Ron and Janie Ogden moved into ranch nearly 14 years ago. They are the seventh family to care for the majestic tree.
“These are called buttress roots, they're like feet that stabilize the tree,” Ron explains.
Janie launched the home search that led them to this house.
In 1872 the Moreton Fig was planted just outside the home that was built by the McRae brothers.
One reason this tree may have thrived for so long is what is underneath. Below it is a reservoir that holds the water naturally underground here in Spring Valley. The Ogdens think the feeder roots may have drawn from it.
Over the years, people have carved their initials in the trunk and used a rope swing to play next to it. The trunk, which has a circumference of 32 feet, is actually two trunks that have merged into one.
It is the perfect tree for Ron and Janie, who got married the year they moved in.
“For us it's been kind of the cement that brought our marriage together,” Ron said.