The flora of the environment plays an extensive role in our lives ranging from our housing to our medicine. One fourth of the medicines available today owe their existence from plants. We often research to know and study about the ancient civilizations and modernization of the world. But there are few beings who have witnessed these events. The rising of the modern and the sophisticated present world. These are the oldest trees standing still on the grounds for thousands of years. The oldest trees are clonal which results them to stay alive more than normal. Some of the oldest known trees maybe older than the experts think they are. Some have their main trunks rotten away and their age is estimated by their size and rate of growth.
10. Tisbury Yew Tree
The Tisbury Yew Tree is located in Tisbury, England and is estimated to be around 4,000 years old. Though its trunk is quite hollow, it stands in fine foliage and lush greenery with circumference measuring up to 37 feet and limbs considerably large. It is said to be have been planted many generations ago by some Arundel family. With its immense size and flora it is considered to be one of the oldest and greatest in the Kingdom. The late, Mr. Moore, a well-known archaeologist paid much attention on this topic and pronounced the Yew to be the oldest specimen of its species in England. All through the years it has been the center tourist attraction across the world.
9. Sarv-e Abarkuh
Sarv-e Abarkuh also called the Zoroastrian Sarv, is located in Abarkuh, Yazd, Iran. It is estimated that its age is over 4,000 years. It is protected by the Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran as a national natural monument and is a great center of attraction for tourists all over the world with a height of about 25 meters and circumference of 18 meters. It is the third oldest living non-clonal tree in the world as of 2013.
8. Llangernyw Yew
It is an ancient Yew living in the churchyard of the village of Llangernyw in Conwy County Borough, North Wales. Though it’s core part is lost due to its fragmentation, it’s girth at the ground level measures about 10.15 meters. Determining the age of Yew trees is very difficult but however Llangernyw Yew is believed to be of 4,000 to 5,000 years of age, making it one of the oldest living trees as well non-clonal trees in the world. The tree took root sometime in the prehistoric Bronze Age and is still a thriving, healthy and beautiful growing tree. In the mid-1990s the church oil tank stood in between the two trunks fragments but it was removed later realizing that the tree was a living ancient monument.
The name of the tree refers to the mythological figure Prometheus, who stole fire from the Gods and gave it to man. The tree was at least 4,862 years old or even older when it was cut down by a graduate student and United States Forest Service personnel for research purposes. However, they did not know about its record age before cutting it down. Donald Rusk Currey, a researcher designated as WPN-114 and refers to the 114th tree sampled by him for his research in the Nevada’s White Pine Country.
Methuselah is a Great Basin bristlecone pine tree growing high in the White mountains of Inyo Country in eastern California and is 4,844 years of age. It is names after ‘Methuselah’ a Biblical figure having the longest mentioned lifespan in the Bible of 969 years. It grows in a high altitude of 9,500ft to 9,800ft above sea level in the Methuselah Grove. However, Methuselah’s exact location is undisclosed to protect it from Vandalism. It was sampled by Edmund Schulman and Tom Harlan when it was 4,789 years old. It continued to be the oldest known living non-clonal living organism of the world for many years until it was superseded by another pine grove growing in the same area with an age of 5,063 years.
5. The sisters
They are also called The Sisters Olive trees of Noah are a grove of sixteen Olive trees located in the Lebanese town of Bcheale. They are probably at least 5,000 years old or maybe 6,000 or even older. They are perhaps the oldest non-clonal living trees in the world. The exact age of each sister is yet to be identified. They have not been determined till date due to the deterioration of the inner tree ring structures over time. The trees still produce olives and are being preserved by George Billing under the auspices of his non-profit organization named Sisters Olive Oil, which also markets the olive oil produced by the olives of the trees. Amazingly, it’s an understatement to say a ‘miracle’ for these trees to grow and live at such a high altitude of 1,311 meters.
4. Old Rasmus
This tree is proved to have lived for 9,500 years and is located in Hӓrjedalen, Sweden. It is proven by C14 measuring method. It is not the same as Methuselah. Though it is the same organism but it is not the same trunk. Its twigs bend into the earth every winter and new shoots start growing. Amazingly, when Jesus was born 2,009 years ago this tree had been there for 7,500 years.
3. Old Tjikko
Old Tjikko is 9,550 years old Norway spruce located on Fulufjӓllet Mountain of Dalarna province in Sweden. It is the oldest known living individual clonal tree. There are much older clonal trees like Pando which consists of many trees connected through a common root system. It stands 16ft tall but for thousands of years, the tree appeared in a stunted shrub formation due to the harsh environment in which it lives. The man who discovered it, Leif Kullman, Professor of Physical Geography at Umeå University has given the tree its nickname “Old Tjikko” after his late dog.
2. Jurupa Oak
The Jurupa Oak is clonal colony of Palmer’s Oak trees located in the Riverside County, Southern California. It is estimated that the oak colony has survived over 13,000 years through clonal reproduction following burning in the wildfires making it one of the oldest plant on earth. It is situated on the top of a small hill in the suburban southern California which a passerby is likely to miss because none of its 70 stems grow more than a few feet tall. Every stem is identical and grows in an oval 25 yards long and 8 yards wide area. Natural characteristic of Aspen is to sprout roots and grow into new stem which enables it to spread a few feet every year. Researchers, led by Jeffery Ross-Ibarra of the University of California found the tree a decade ago during a routine survey of local plant life.
Pando is the clonal colony of a single male Quaking Aspen. It is located in Fishlake National Forest, Utah, United States is estimated to be 80,000 years old and covers around 107 acres of land and consists of 47,000 stems with an average age of 130 years each stem. The stems continually die and are renewed by its roots. It has a massive underground root system and with a weight of 6 million kilograms making it one of the heaviest and massive known living organism of the world. In 2005 United States Postal Service made a stamp in the commemoration of the Aspen and called it as one of the forty “Wonders of America”. Pando was discovered by Burton V. Barnes of the University of Michigan in the 1970s. Barnes on the basis of his extensive research proposed that described Pando as a single organism. Building on Barnes’s earlier work, Michael Grant of University of Colorado re-examined Pando and claimed it to be the most massive organism of the world in 1992.
These were some known living or dead oldest trees in the world today. Probably there are more ancient living trees in the forests which are being cut down in the name of modernization. We need to wake up and save these precious gifts and these evidents of our future generations and civilizations. Save trees, Save mankind