Your kiddos play beneath their shade all summer long, and you have aspiring dreams of building a fortress among the leaves. No doubt about it, trees are pretty awesome. Living beings that produce over half of the fresh air we breathe, there’s reason to celebrate their lofty reach. In honor of Arbor Day, we’ve complied a gallery of the coolest trees in the world. Read about an ancient bristlecone pine tree in California, a Guinness World Record cashew tree in Brazil and more breathtaking beauties below.

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Tree – Secret Location in Ca, United States

The grandaddy of them all---this ancient wonder is more than 46 centuries old and said to be the world’s oldest living thing. It maintains life by letting dying parts fall off so it can sustain a single living branch and regrow from there. Think of it like the Benjamin Button of all trees; talk about a cool dinner conversation with your budding ecologist. Find out more about the history at PBS.

photo: Achim via flickr

Which tree is your favorite? Let us know in the Comments below! 

— Christal Yuen