Monday, March 1, 2010

Oldest Living Trees

This is interesting because it might be possible to locate related bogs that are able to preserve some of these trees.  One does not need too many to string together long tree ring sequences. 

Actually, we are overdue for a concerted effort to develop such sequences from as many bogs as possible if it can be done around the globe.  It can determine when a locale lost sunlight as occurred in Northern Europe after 1159BCE.  Northern climes are most sensitive, but tropical zones will also be affected by volcano.

The effort takes years but multiple ring sequences allow detailed comparisons.  I grow tired of too plausible interpretations made on sometimes only single data points.  It is naturally risky.  Recall that our primary correction on carbon 14 dating is based mainly on the bristle cone pine.  It has stood up, but we should still be wary.  I hope other groups have run comparisons with these other trees.

My own sense is that this area has been financially starved  in most promising regions.

Posted by Admin | 2/27/2010

These are the world’s oldest known individual (non-clonal) living trees today.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, “One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen, enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people.”

The US National Wildlife Federation said, “There are about 60 to 20 million spaces along American cities where trees could be planted which translates to the potential to absorb 33 million more tons of CO2 every year, and saving $4 billion in energy costs.”

“Trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30 percent and can save 20 to 50 percent in energy used for heating,” this according to the USDA Forest Service.

Trees are also great noise absorbers and facilitate better management of flood water, among other environmental benefits.
For millennia, the following trees seem to not get tired of serving their purpose for mankind and mother earth. If they can talk and don’t suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, they sure have so many long interesting stories to tell.


Methuselah is a Great Basin Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva) tree found in the Inyo National Forest of California, USA. The tree was estimated to have germinated in 2832 BC and was 4,789 years old when sampled in 1957. Today, it is known as the oldest living individual (non-clonal) organism on earth at 4,841 years old.

Methuselah is growing somewhere in a place called “Forest of Ancients” in Methuselah Grove, but its exact identity and location is kept a secret to keep people from getting near the tree to have their pictures taken or to protect it from any form of vandalism.

The tree was named after Methuselah, who according to the Bible, lived to be 969 years old although the tree has lived five times longer to date.

Sarv-e Abarqu

Zoroatrina Sarv, more commonly known as Sarv-e Abarqu, a name which means “cypress of Abarqu” is an Iranian national monument and a major tourist attraction. It is a cypress tree believed to be more than 4,000 years old found in Abarghood in the province of Yazd. Sarv-e Abarqu was named after the city near Yazd. It is known as the oldest cypress tree and probably the oldest living thing in Asia.

Llangernyw Yew

The churchyard of St. Digains’ parish church in a village called Llangernyw in Wales is home to a mighty yew tree. The ancient tree is said to be 4,000 years old making it one of the oldest living things in the country. In June 2002 during the golden jubilee celebration of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, the tree was recognized as a national heritage together with 49 other trees.


Chile is home to more than 50% of the southern hemisphere’s temperate rain forests, covering almost 85 million acres—second in size only to the forests of the Pacific Northwest. It is South America’s only temperate rain forest and contains some of the world’s largest and oldest trees including the gigantic Alerce trees. In the Valdivian Coastal Reserve in southern Chile is where a 3,639 year old Alerce tree can be found together with other ancient Fitzroya cupressoides, a giant sequoia look-alike species that exist only in the temperate forests of Chile. Also called Andean Birch trees, Alerces have a life span of up to 4,000 years.

The ancient Alerce tree, which was dated 3622 in 1993 is the second-greatest fully verified (by counting growth rings) age for any living tree, after Methuselah. The annual ring count is measured through a small core taken with an increment borer.


The Senator (Taxodium distichum) is the largest and oldest Bald Cypress tree in the United States, found in Big Tree Park, Longwood, Florida. Named in honor of former Florida State Senator M.O Overstreet who donated the tree and the surrounding land for a park to Seminole County, The Senator is estimated to be 3,400-3,500 years old today. At this age, it means that the tree has been standing when the Egyptians were raising their first pyramids along the Nile; and when Christ was born, The Senator was already a forest giant.

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