The steep windswept cliffs of El Hierro do not just bring fresh breezes to those standing near them, but seriously affect the local landscape. The biggest victims are the local Phoenician juniper trees that grow sideways due to these winds. These surreal-looking trees are so unique to the landscape that residents use them as a sort of national tree, placing images of these bent junipers on most touristic products.
While there are several junipers of this type on the island, the most accessible one is the Monumento a la Sabina de El Hierro, which is found on a lookout point not far from the island’s harbor. Like other trees of its type, the tree is bent over and seems to be pulled to the side, oddly enough, it aligns perfectly with the road and stands parallel to the cliffside, which is typically not how the wind flows.
When visitors look a bit closer, they will spot more things that are off. First, the tree seems dead with just tiny bits of green and large cracks in its stem. A closer inspection reveals wires and tie wraps holding the tree together, and also that the green that is on the tree is painted.
Actually, this tree is not a tree at all, but a collection of juniper branches skillfully tied together. It’s a monument to the famous trees of the island.
Know Before You Go
The "tree" is freely accessible.