The lifespan of trees varies greatly. Almost all trees outlive us, humans, and some of them can reach very old age (thousands of years!) depending on their species. Here is a list of the oldest trees in the world.

7. CBR26 (Giant Sequoia, Sierra Nevada)

A giant Redwood named CBR26 was found in the Sierra Nevada, California in North America. It is estimated to be 3,266 years old.

Also known as the Sierra sequoia, a coniferous, evergreen tree of the cypress family (Cupressaceae), the largest of all trees collectively and the largest by volume.

Unfortunately, many Giant Sequoia trees including CBR26 were destroyed by a single California wildfire that tore through the southern Sierra Nevada last year, according to a draft report prepared by scientists with the National Park Service.

6. Gran Abueolo (Chile)

The oldest trees in the world: Gran Abuelo
The oldest trees in the world: Gran Abuelo. By Yiyo Zamorano – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

The Gran Abuelo (Spanish for “great grandfather”), which is located in the Alerce Costero National Park in Chile, is the oldest living tree in South America.

It is also the oldest tree in Gran Abuelo South America. He is exactly 3,646 years old.

The tree stands at more than 60 m tall (196 ft) with a diameter of 4 meters (13 ft) and a perimeter of 11 meters (36 ft).

5. Methuselah (California, United States)

The oldest trees in the world: Methuselah
The oldest trees in the world: Methuselah, White Mountain, California. Photo: Chao Yen (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Methuselah, a pine tree in the white mountains of California, is thought to be almost 5,000 years old and it is currently the oldest non-clonal tree in the world.

Located in a protected forest area in California, this tree was discovered by accident in 1964.

Based on the tree’s age, Methuselah is estimated to have germinated around 2,832 BC and is older than the famous Egyptian pyramids.

4. Prometheus (Nevada, Unites States)

Oldest trees in the world: Stump of Prometheus
The oldest trees in the world: The cut stump of the Prometheus tree. Photo: Wikipedia.

Unfortunately, Prometheus was cut down at the request of Donald R. Currey, a young scientist doing research on the geology of the area. This was completely accidental, according to Currey.

Currey said that his corer got stuck in a tree so badly. He sought help from a park ranger who decided to cut the tree down to remove the corer.

When the tree was cut down Curry started counting the rings. And then he realized that the tree was almost 5,000 years old.

Researchers counted 4,862 growth rings on the core sample, but estimate that the tree may have been at least 4,900 years old as it likely did not grow a ring every year due to the area’s harsh conditions.

3. Old Tjikko (Sweden)

The oldest trees in the world: Old Tjikko
The oldest trees in the world: Old Tjikko is a tree (a Norway spruce) in Fulufjäll in Sweden which is claimed to be the oldest tree in the world, by age of its root system. The visible part is much younger. By Karl Brodowsky – Own work, CC BY 3.0, Link

A Norwegian Spruce found within the borders of Mount Fulufjället in Dalarna, Sweden. At 9,550 years old, it is considered the oldest tree in the world today.

But Old Tjikko is a regenerating tree with an oversized trunk, branches, and regenerating from a singular tree in age.

The trunk is estimated to be only a few hundred years old but survives much longer due to vegetative reproduction (a new trunk may sprout if the root system is still alive while the trunk dies) or a process known as plant layering, which can be explained as a new root sprouting when a branch comes into contact with the soil. found to remain.

Old Tjikko is actually a part of a clonal tree (see notes 1).

2. Jurupa Oak (California, United States)

The oldest trees in the world: Jurupa Oak
The oldest trees in the world: Jurupa Oak / Palmer’s oak (on the right is tagged #1). CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

In the Jurupa Mountains of California, there is a very unusual group of trees – Palmer’s oak. Unlike the mighty trees that often bear the name oak, this one looks like little more than a small collection of shrubs. But looks can be deceiving. This seemingly diverse group of plants are all clones of a single individual and is a very ancient plant.

The tree has been scientifically determined to be at least 13,000 years old.

1. Pando (Utah, United States)

Pando
The oldest trees in the world: Pando aspen grove at Fishlake National Forest, Utah, United States. By J. Zapell – Public Domain, Link

Pando, also known as the Trembling Giant, is a giant clonal colony (see notes 1) of male aspen that has been identified as a single organism.

Pando is considered the oldest colony of clonal trees in the world. Some sources claim it is over 80,000 years old. But, actually, this figure is from a National Park Service web page that does not provide a source for its number.

But, actually, it must be less than 16,000 years old, because the last glacial maximum in the area was 16,000 years ago. Pando cannot be older than that.

At an estimated 6,000,000 kilograms, Pando is also the world’s heaviest known living organism.

Notes

  1. A clonal colony (also known as the genet) is a group of genetically identical individuals, such as plants, fungi, or bacteria, that have grown in a given location, all originating vegetatively, not sexually, from a single ancestor.

Sources

Ceren Bayraktar
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