Oldest Living Tree Found in Sweden
James Owen in Stockholm, Sweden
for National Geographic News
April 14, 2008
The world's oldest known living tree, a conifer that first took root at the end of the last Ice Age, has been discovered in Sweden, researchers say.
The visible portion of the 13-foot-tall (4-meter-tall) "Christmas tree" isn't ancient, but its root system has been growing for 9,550 years, according to a team led by Leif Kullman, professor at Umeå University's department of ecology and environmental science in Sweden.
Discovered in 2004, the lone Norway spruce—of the species traditionally used to decorate European homes during Christmas—represents the planet's longest-lived identified plant, Kullman said.
The researchers found the shrubby mountain survivor at an altitude of 2,985 feet (910 meters) in Dalarna Province.
The tree's incredible longevity is largely due to its ability to clone itself, Kullman said.
The spruce's stems or trunks have a lifespan of around 600 years, "but as soon as a stem dies, a new one emerges from the same root stock," Kullman explained. "So the tree has a very long life expectancy."
Climate researchers at Bangor University in the United Kingdom
recently counted 405 annual growth rings in the shells of a quahog clam.
When this animal w
Individual trees with verified ages
Old trees with estimated ageshttp://youtu.be/HbzTjGTNF8w