How “Fred the Tree” Inspires the Florida Keys

There’s a tree that sits in the middle of the Old Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys. Nicknamed Fred, the tree is an Australian pine tree that’s been growing out of the roadbed since the early 1900s. It’s believed that Fred may have sprouted from the droppings of a passing bird or an osprey, and despite the lack of soil, the tree grew tall and lush in the salt-swept landscape. One of the beloved holiday traditions in the Keys is watching Fred get all dressed up and decorated in festive garb. Every year, island “elves” work to decorate Fred with Christmas lights and ornaments, but that's not the most amazing thing about Fred. That would be the fact that the unusual tree managed to withstand Hurricane Irma in 2017. He came out of the storm a little battered, but alive and with clear plans to stay put.