[ Hanafiee Azlee, 19 January 2022 ]
Can I be honest with you guys? I am actually very excited to type this blog out cause i am actually interested to know the different type of trees that have lived for a millenia! Of course, I am most certain that you guys will be just as shocked, once you are done reading this article. Our ancestral trees, The tree of time, The passing tree. Oh, they go by so many names! The trees that I will be mentioning at the later part of this blog can still be found on this green blue Earth!
Those that are lucky enough and live nearby where these trees are planted, can make a visit, and check out these beautiful and magnificent trees. It is often so rare for us to stumble upon trees that have lived beyond our times. Most of the trees in our neighbourhood are all quite young, the oldest found is just 20 years of age. Okay, actually that does sound pretty old but wait till these big guys surprise you! They don’t even look like their age! Well, at least some of them! Alright, without further a due, let us dive into the past and check out the oldest living greens that are currently residing on Gaia.
So, how do arborists determine a tree’s age? It is quite simple! The growth rings of a tree are the circles or rings visible after cutting through a limb or trunk. A tree creates two new sets of growth rings every year it grows. Each set of growth rings is usually a distinct hue, with the first being lighter (earlywood) and the second being darker (latewood). A tree adds a new growth ring towards the outer border of the bark each year as it grows, with the original or first year's growth rings in the centre of the limb or trunk. So, you can just count the rings on a stump or a tree wood to determine its age!
Okay, lets get into the oldest living trees on Earth!
Species Patagonian Cypress (Fitzroya cupressoides)
The oldest living tree in South America is the Gran Abuelo (Spanish for "great grandfather"), which may be found in Chile's Alerce Costero National Park. The tree is more than 60 meters tall (196 feet), with a diameter of 4 meters (13 feet) and a circumference of 11 meters (36 ft). Gran Abuelo's age was discovered in 1993 after researchers utilized a growth ring to confirm its age; at the time, they believed the tree to be roughly 3,622 years old.
Species: Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva)
Methuselah was the world's oldest known tree until 2012, when Tom Harlan and Edmund Schulman discovered its age (4,789 years at the time). The tree is named after Methuselah, the oldest Biblical character who lived to reach 969 years old.
This ancient tree may be found at Methuselah Grove in Inyo County, California, where it is surrounded by other ancient trees. Its exact position is kept hidden from the public to prevent vandalism. According to the tree's age, Methuselah was born about 2832 BCE, making it older than the famed Egyptian pyramids.
Species: Pinus longaeva
Prometheus was one of the world's oldest trees when it died in 1964, and it was much older than Methuselah at the time. In Wheeler Park, Nevada, the tree was part of a group of several old trees. The Forest Service granted geographer Donald R. Currey permission to extract a core sample of the tree in 1964 in order to determine its age, which he estimated to be over 4,000 years.
The remnants of the trees can still be found in Wheeler peak, Nevada, USA. Keep your eyes peeled for the most beautiful destruction of this beautiful tree.
Species: Fragaea fragrans
Let us go local, shall we? This Tembusu tree can be found in Singapore’s iconic garden, which is famous for its beautiful landscape and picnic worthy location! If you were to walk around and stumble upon this oldest living trees in Singapore, do take a snap and share the words of the wise. Keep your eyes peeled for any markings that can be found on trees. Just stare it and keep your thoughts running. “This tree has lived way longer than anyone I know”
I always have a thought in my mind. Imagine if the trees we see in our daily premise has a natural biological camera installed it somehow and they manage to capture everything that is going on during that time. It will be so cool to see how everything was back then.