Oldest Tree In The World And Where To Find It
A tree dating back to the stone ages will remain one of life’s many mysteries. Trees are very resourceful to humans and animals as they provide us with oxygen, shelter, food, shade, and tools. Trees also offer great aesthetics in places including parks and homes.
Many people have been surprised to find out that trees live for hundreds of years while some extend to the thousands. It’s shocking due to our sticky hands. The fact that many things like homes and fencing require wood, it’s hard to imagine that a tree can live past a few years.
Deforestation rates globally have skyrocketed due to the ever-increasing demand for wood. As a result, there has been climate change and its effects can be felt all over.
It is sublime to imagine that a tree has seen colder winters and hotter summers standing on its own. For millennia, these prehistoric trees have watched as civilizations have risen and fallen. They have stood tall even as human development has been at the forefront of ensuring their extinction. They are a testament to Mother Nature’s resilience and unpredictability.
The oldest trees in the world can be subdivided into two groups, individual trees, and clonal trees. Individual refers to a singular tree with its root system while clonal trees share a rooting system. With that in mind, here are the world’s oldest living trees.
The oldest tree in the world is not an individual tree but a colony of trees that have lived for over 80,000 years. Referred to as Pando, the colony of trees shares an underground root system and has been cloning themselves for years thus ensuring their longevity. They are located at the Fishlake National Forest in Utah, USA.
The colony is made up of more than 40,000 individual quaking aspen trees. It has however been claimed that they are dying and not cloning more. This can be attributed to the increased human activity in the area.
2. Old Tjikko
Swedish old tree Old Tjikko is 9,550 years old and was first discovered in Sweden in 2008. It is the oldest individual tree from a clonal tree. The ancient tree regenerates new trunks as they only live for six hundred years as well as branches, and roots in the same spot.
Scientists who carbon-dated it suppose it is the only living trunk of an ancient clonal colony like the Pando.
3. Unnamed Great Basin Bristlecone Pine
The oldest individual tree in the world was discovered in 2012 and remains unnamed to date. It was dated 5,062 years in 2010 by Tom Harlan before his death. It is a Great Basin bristlecone pine tree located in Inyo County, California, USA. This also happens to be the location of the previous title holder of the world’s oldest tree.
Until the year 2012, one tree famously known as Methuselah took the title for the oldest tree in the world. The name is derived from Biblical scriptures which highlight a man called Methuselah who lived to 969 years as the oldest human to have ever lived. Methuselah the tree is 4,851 years old this year. That means the tree was planted way before any civilization had emerged while the early man was still experimenting with stone art.
It is estimated to have germinated in the 2832 BC. This makes the ancient tree older than the Egyptian pyramids.
Methuselah is a Great Basin bristlecone pine located in the White Mountains of Inyo County, California. Tom Harlan and Edmund Schulman discovered the ancient tree back in 1957. Its exact location is kept a secret from the public to protect it from any harm. Even if you were to go to the location today, you wouldn’t know which one it is since it is surrounded by other old trees.
These old trees are treasured in their home soil and are protected. In Iran for example, the oldest tree on their soil is referred to as a National monument. Standing tall at 4,000 years, Sarv-e Abarqu is a cypress tree. It is believed to be the oldest living thing in Asia.