The Worlds’ Oldest Trees
These trees live lifetimes which are calculated in terms of eons rather than decades, or even centuries, providing for one of natures’ most amazing stories. The Worlds’ Oldest Trees were seedlings at the time when the Egyptian Pharaohs were building the pyramids, when Europe was experiencing the Bronze Age, and around the same time that Stonehenge was mysteriously thought to be erected.
They have withstood the test of time, surviving thousands of years in their stationary positions to eventually become the oldest trees in the world.
Standing on a hill in the White Mountains of California resides a 4,845-year-old Great Basin Bristlecone Pine, affectionately named Methuselah. It’s twisted, weathered form tells the story of of the thousands of years it lived there, and has become rather a celebrity in its own right. It’s recently discovered older and un-named counterpart, also a Bristlecone Pine located in the White Mountains, was determined by the Rocky Mountain Tree Ring Research group to be 5,062 years old in 2013.
There are other trees which have lived for thousands of years in other parts of the world as well. The hardy Olive tree makes it’s home in several warm, arid parts of the world, and due to its drought, fire, and disease resistant nature, it is a species that boasts longevity as well. In fact, the island of Crete in Greece is home to the seven Olive trees that are believed to be 2,000 to 3,000 years old at the least. The Vouves Olive tree in particular is believed to be the oldest of the seven, and is estimated to be over 3,000 years old.
Other examples of long living trees are Alerce, a 3,642-year-old Patagonian Cypress located in the Andes Mountains of Chile, and Llangernyw Yew, (shown below) a Yew tree which lives to this day in the churchyard of the Llangernyw village in North Wales.
However, none of these individual trees are capable of reaching the age of the worlds’ oldest living organism, the Quaking Aspen Tree. Because these trees reproduce via a natural cloning process, with new trees springing up from the roots of older trees rather than from seeds, the organism as a whole is able to reach astonishing ages which are numbered in tens of thousands of years.
While Aspen trees can be found all around the world in the northern hemisphere, the best known example of this is Pando, a massive colony of Aspens located in Utah that has been determined to be anywhere from 80,000, to hundreds of thousands of years old. This species is also the Worlds oldest living single organism and possibly the Worlds’ heaviest living organism.
If only trees could talk, these ages old specimens could certainly tell a story. However, for those of us who can only exist for a short period of time in comparison, this tale of the The Worlds’ Oldest Trees alone is thought provoking enough!
The Worlds’ Oldest Living Trees
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