The Moreton Bay Fig Tree located near the Amtrak train station in Santa Barbara is the largest Ficus macrophylla in the United States. A plaque at the base tells the story behind this tremendous tree: A seaman visiting Santa Barbara in the year 1876 gave a seedling of a fig tree from Moreton Bay, Australian, to a local girl who planted it nearby on State Street. After the girl moved away a year later, her girlfriend, Adeline Crabb, transplanted the sapling to the corner of Montecito and Chapala streets, just a few blocks from the ocean, on land then owned by the Southern Pacific Transportation Company.
The tree was officially designated as a historic landmark in 1970, and the property was deeded to the City of Santa Barbara in 1976. The tree has since been placed on the California Register of Big Trees. Park at the train station to view the tree. It's so huge you can't miss it so no frther directions are needed.
In July 1997, the circumference of the tree, measured at a height of 4.5 ft (1.4 m) above the ground, was 41.5 ft (12.6 m). The average crown spread was 176 ft (54 m) and the total height was 80 feet (24 m).
Though the area was just an open pasture in 1876, in the mid-1900s the U.S. 101 Freeway was routed to within just 100 ft (30 m) of the base of the tree. Santa Barbara's Moretone Bay Fig Tree came very close to being lost to progress but luck was on its side. The canopy now partially extends over the freeway.