That this year will be another year … It is a rare species, the ahuehuete, and is in retirement.
It is said that the Retiro ahuehuete could date from 1632. That is, more or less when the Palace of Good Retreat was built and the first trees were planted. However, according to the plaque next to the specimen, the existence of eighteenth-century ahuehuetes in Aranjuez of superior width and height suggests that this one may date from the nineteenth century. In that case it would also be one of the oldest trees in Madrid.
Legend has it that this tree survived the felling of the French invaders. And it is that during the War of Independence the gunners used it to support artillery pieces given the shape and robustness of its branches.
The ahuehuete del Parterre is the only specimen of its kind in the Retiro. That is why it is understood that it has been included in the Catalog of Singular Trees of the Community of Madrid. Because of its rarity and its history, it is also part of the park’s botanical itinerary.
The parterre, where the oldest tree in Madrid is located, is a French-style garden. It is characterized by geometric paths, side ponds, perfectly trimmed hedges and molded cypresses with capricious forms.
Many call it Bald Cypress, but it is an ahuehuete, an exotic species that loses its leaves in cold climates (that’s why in Madrid it was called bald) but not in hot climates. In Mexico, some specimens of this species live between 2,000 and 6,000 years and can reach 50 meters in diameter.