The Ancient Elm Tree, also known as “the Iron Rod”, is located on the bank of the Heaven Pool. You can easily notice it because it is actually the only big tree by the lake. The elm tree gains such fame because people said that it was the incarnation of a hair clasp that belonged to the Queen Mother of the West.

Rumor has it that, once upon a time, the Queen Mother of the West held a grand ball in her palace. All the gods and goddesses were invited except for the God who was in charge of the Heaven Pool. He was so angry that he stirred the water in the lake, created huge waves and caused terrible floods in the Earth. His absurd deed interrupted the ball and enraged the Queen Mother. The furious Queen Mother then take a hair clasp out of her hair, turned it into an iron rod, and stucked it into the northern bank of lake. Depressed by the power of the iron rod, the God of the Heaven Pool could not do harm to the world any more, and floods ended soon. Later, right at the spot where the iron rod was, an elm tree appeared. People believed that it was the incarnation of the hair clasp, and came to worship it from every quarter.

But that is only a legend. As a matter of fact, this elm tree was planted there by some Taoist disciples to in honor of the Queen Mother of the West. Generally speaking, it is impossible for elm trees to grow in such a high elevation. However, this ancient elm tree is still in a very good condition today. It is very tall, and its crown looks like a giant umbrella. The most miraculous thing is, even in the year when there is abundant rainwater; the root of the tree would not be submerged by water.

The Heaven Pool

Jack Li

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