General Sherman Tree, Sequoia Nat'l Park: largest living organism in the world ().
enlightenment (bodhi), is called the Bodhi Tree. It would be 2,600 to 3,000 years old but technically is no more. Functionally it is still there, and you too can sit under it.
|Yggdrasil (like Buddhist Mt. Sumeru)|
|Meditation under the bodhi tree, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India 2011 (Amos Chapple/UNESCO)|
|The alleged site of the great enlightenment|
|Tibetan monks gather in Bodh Gaya.|
|Bristlecone pine Prometheus at Great Basin Grove, Wheeler Peak in distance (wikipedia)|
|Portion of oldest tree in the world (USFS)|
|Methuselah Grove: forest of gnarled bristlecone pine trees in sandy soil, Inyo, California.|
|An ancient, still living, bristlecone pine growing in Bryce Canyon (Maximowiczsa/wiki)|
There are a few accounts of what happened: The student, Donald R. Currey, said in a PBS documentary that the normal approach to coring a tree was not working and that he wasn't experienced enough to know what to do, so he cut it down with the help of some foresters. Members of the forest service said he got his drill bit stuck in the tree, and so he and the foresters cut it down to remove his tool [New York Times].