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Built by Branches: Nine of the Most Incredible Tree Tunnels

Tunnel of Love, Ukraine (photograph by Serhei/Wikimedia)

Around the world, stunning passageways have grown from nature. These tree tunnels can take decades to form, but when the branches arch over in a botanical architecture it can be transporting. Here are nine of our favorite tree tunnels, where you can walk under the flora in a light dappled through leaves and flowers. 

TUNNEL OF LOVE
Klevan, Ukraine

photograph by serhei/panoramio

The Tunnel of Love outside of Klevan, Ukraine, has three kilometers of train tracks enclosed by vivid greenery. The train runs wood to a factory, a perhaps slightly ironic juxtaposition, but visitors can also meander through the lush setting on foot. 

photograph by Людмила Голуб/Wikimedia

WISTERIA TUNNEL
Yahatahigashi Ward, Japan


photograph by Binary cse/Flickr

Located at the Kawachi Fuji Gardens in Kitakyushu, Japan, the Wisteria Tunnel is a trellised passageway where multicolored flowers hang down over the heads of visitors. However, hit it at the wrong time and those blooms are just a contorted shade of bare branches.   

DARK HEDGES
Ballymoney, Ireland

photograph by Lindy Buckley/Flickr

Gloomily leading the way to the manor home of the Stuart family, the Dark Hedges in Ireland are a row of beech trees planted back in the 18th century. They now lean ominously over the road in a tunnel of branches. Not surprisingly they’ve even got their own ghost legend — the Grey Lady who is said to appear in the shadows. 


photograph by Kyle Monahan/Flickr

LABURNUM TUNNEL
Bodnant Gardens, Wales

photograph by Adam Clark/Flickr

Japan may be the capital of beautiful wisteria tunnels, but the Bodnant Garden in Wales has one to stand with the rest. The 55-meter long Laburnum Arch drapes its yellow blossoms in late spring in a stunning golden corridor. 

photograph by Adam Clark/Flickr

OAK ALLEY PLANTATION
Vacherie, Louisiana

photograph by Alberto Cabello/Flickr

Dating to the 19th century, the Oak Alley Plantation on the Mississippi River in Louisiana has as its namesake a path of live oaks around 800 feet long. The towering trees lead right up to the Greek Revival house at the historic destination’s center. 

photograph by Prayitno/Flickr

YEW TUNNEL
Aberglasney Gardens, Wales

photograph by Lisa Shambrook/Flickr

The Yew Tunnel at Aberglasney Gardens in Wales is a surreal sight of old trees planted in the 18th century knotted together in an otherworldly passageway. As the Aberglasney website explains: ”it is hard to count how many separate trees commingle in the vast mass of this venerable growing gallery.”

photograph by Gareth Lovering/Flickr

GREAT WISTERIA
Ashikaga Flower Park, Japan

photograph by Takashi Hososhima/Flickr

Just one massive wisteria tree, believed to be nearly 150 years old, provides a huge canopy of purplish blue flowers at the Ashikaga Flower Park in Japan. The branches are suspended on trellises into a stunning space that starts to come to life in May. 

photograph by Hetarllen Mumriken/Flickr

PARQUE FRANCISCO ALVARADO
Zarcero, Costa Rica

photograph by Vytautas Šėrys/Flickr

Since the 1960s strange topiaries have been carved in the center of Zarcero, Costa Rica, at the Parque Francisco Alvarado. This includes a tunnel of 16 arches leading right up to the Iglesia de San Rafael, along with dinosaurs, animals, and even Jesus sculpted from the plants. 

photograph by Vytautas Šėrys/Flickr

MANGROVE TUNNEL
Roatan, Honduras

photograph by Woody Hibbard/Flickr

The canals carved into the fishing community of Roatan, Hondurus, are shaded by mangrove trees, their roots clawing out into the water. Small boats offer visitors the chance to experience these tunnels, and as a bonus, one even leads to an Iguana Farm. 

photograph by Max Kueng/Flickr


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