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The Oldest Tree in the World: What is it and how old is it?

What is the oldest tree in the world?

The longest-living tree on the planet dates back to about 9,550 years of life, from the ice age.

It is the so-called Lone Spruce of Norway and was baptized with the same name as the Siberian husky dog ​​of its discoverer, “Old Tjikko”, in homage to the scientist Leif Kullman, professor at the department of ecology and environmental science at Umeå University in sweden a.

Lone Norway spruce is the oldest tree in the world

You may also be interested: The tallest tree in the world.

Its discovery opens new questions about the beginning and duration of thecalled Ice Age or Ice Age.

Did you know…Before this discovery, it was believed that the longest-lived tree on the planet was «Methuselah», located in a hidden place, not revealed to the public, in the Methuselag Grove ancient pine park, in eastern California, in the United States, where keeps you under preservation.

Precisely to prevent it from being destroyed, as happened with another very long-lived specimen discovered in the same park, another Colorado pine (a long-lived species) nicknamed Prometheus, which was felled by ax by mistake, whenHe was 4,844 years old, in the year 1964.

When a geology student named Donal R. Currey cut it down by mistake to remove a tool that had become stuck in the prominent trunk of this long-lived specimen, a sad end that forced the authorities to decree regulations ofspecial protection for species of the Nevada Mountains.

«Methuselah» dates to about 4,848 years old. This species called Bristlecone or Colorado Pine has apowerful biological clock that is stimulated by climatic adversitiesand it supports very low temperatures, with frosts and in very arid lands, on an estimated height of 11 thousand feet above sea level.

These pines create an impenetrable layer of resin on their trunks devoid of all foliage and twisted on themselves, to protect themselves from inclement weather, and this special characteristic makes them powerful and very long-lived.

To which species does the oldest tree in the world belong?

The Solitary Norway Spruce is the oldest living plant identified so far on the entire globe.

It belongs to the same species of pine that is used to decorate houses, dressing it with Christmas decorations, in the holiday season.

Did you know…

Many «purist» scientists do not consider the Lonesome Norway Spruce to be the oldest tree in the world because of its ability to clone itself.

They understand a tree as a whole, so they consider that the Spruce does not act as such (separate trunk and roots).

These scientists believe that the oldest tree in the world is the one mentioned above: Methuselah, in California.

This is because Methuselah does not regenerate like Lonesome Norway Spruce does. It is a tremendously resistant tree due to inclement weather where it is located.

This causes this tree to have covered its bark with a powerful resin that protects it from insects, fungi and other diseases that may affect it.

Methuselah: the first or second oldest tree in history?

How old is the oldest tree in the world?

Did you know…The incredible thing about this ancient pine species is that it has been taking root for about 9,550 years and its central part, about 4 meters high, dates back about 600 years. This happens because it has the property of regenerating itself.

After studying the carbon footprint of this unique specimen, it was established thatgrew in the last tens of yearsdue to climate change, because the temperatures in the forests where it has been maintained for millions of years, became warmer.

But its roots, unbelievably, date back almost 10,000 years andresponsible for producing more trunk and stems each time,thus reaching akind of immortality,according to what emerges from research carried out at the University of Umeå, in Sweden.

The director of this research, the professor of the ecology department of the aforementioned University, Leif Kullman, explained this phenomenon in the following way, when he spoke to the world about this wonderful find.

Spruce stems and trunk have a lifespan of around 600 years; but as soon as these die, new ones emerge from the root reserves. This is why the tree has a very long life expectancy, adds the scientist.

Where is it?

It was discovered in the province of Dalarna, in Sweden, at an altitude of 910 meters high.

The investigators of the case describe that in the ice age, the sea level reached 120 meters lower than today, so much of the North Sea as it is known today, right between England and Norway, used to be extensive forests.

When was the oldest tree in the world discovered?

It was discovered in the year 2004.

What features does it have?

The ancient roots of the Spruce were dated using the so-called radiocarbon technique (carbon -14 test).

With this support, the researchers delve into the behavior of the first trees that populated the area of ​​Scandinavia, after the glacial melting.

The «Old Tjikko», thanks to the action of the winds and the low temperatures, has acted as if it were a bonsai, because according to the investigations of the case, the icy, frozen climate of the tundra has kept it as if it were of a small bush.

However, as the climate has improved and the temperature has risen and made the planet warmer, the Spruce hasbeen turning into a tree of so much resistancethat has been able to successfully cope with climatic changes for millions of years. When he was found he was about 4 meters tall.

This study also allowed to find other ancient shrubs whose origin isIt is between 5,000 and 6,000 years old.whose analysis yields data about the behavior and the effects that climate change has produced on them, which of course could also have ended the lives of thousands of these relics during the ice age.

Another discovery by Kullman’s team indicates that Sweden’s woodland rose about 200 meters in altitude last century,phenomenon that caused great changes to the landscape of these forests.

Some low mountains that had no tundra less than a hundred years ago are now completely covered by forest, making it difficult for them to provide shelter for the most vulnerable plants, say the Umeå University researchers.

And of course,the destructive capacity of human intervention,with activities such as logging and demolition they have also influenced the disappearance of ancient species

Although the researchers say that it is impossible to find trees older than this species of pine, they suggest that the Huon pines, native to the Australian island of Tasmania, could reach a life span of more than 10,000 years.

Is this tree «immortal»?

The ability of the Lonesome Norway Spruce is to clone or regenerate itself.

As we have mentioned, the main trunk «only» is capable of living for several hundred years. When it dies, the roots of the tree manage to clone it and in this way another trunk sprouts.

Is it an immortal living being?

Difficult to answer this question.

Scientists do not believe that it is immortal as we know this concept, although without a doubt it is the living being that can best fit this definition.

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