Could you believe that there are the oldest trees that have survived for several thousands of years?
Isn’t it magnificent for a single tree to live for millennia? And it’s really exciting to know which tree has been around the longest.
As a tree enthusiast, you would surely want to know about the oldest trees on this planet.
So, we have come up with a post that lists out the 10 Oldest Trees in the World (5000+ years old trees).
Trees have been on this Earth for millions of years. They have existed for several thousands of years in colonies. These organisms have withstood generations of development and change.
They have witnessed tremendous changes in civilizations around them. They have survived climate changes and have even served humanity in numerous forms.
Trees are the providers of our life’s essentials – food and oxygen, and their presence is always pleasant.
They symbolize many qualities that are close to the human heart. Trees represent strength, silence, steadfastness, flexibility, to name a few.
They signify knowledge, transformation, and enlightenment. Trees hold special significance in many religions and spiritual path. They are considered sites of pilgrimage and worship.
Trees have gone on to inspire generation upon generation of humans.
In fact, trees began to populate Earth as much as 385 million years ago, toward the end of the Devonian period. So, trees are one of the oldest living organisms on Earth.
There are millions and millions of tree species that inhabit almost every part of the earth. As far as tree ages are concerned, it is derived from a variety of sources.
One of them includes a documented “tree-ring” count core samples. It is verified by carbon dating. Whenever you talk about “tree age” invariably you tend to ask and inquire about the oldest trees in the world.
You might wonder and want to know where they can be found. You might want to know how old is the oldest tree?
To answer your questions, herein we have compiled a list of 10 oldest trees in the world. So, let’s begin and witness the oldest trees in the world.
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The World’s 10 Oldest Trees
If you want to know what the oldest tree in the world is, then here it is. It is the Methuselah bristlecone pine tree. Methuselah is the oldest tree in the US.
In fact, the Methuselah tree is the oldest tree on the planet. Scientifically known as Methuselah, this ancient Great Basin bristlecone pine tree happens to be the oldest tree in the world.
It is named after the oldest Biblical figure Methuselah, who lived to be 969 years old. It is found in the higher mountains of California, Nevada, and Utah.
One of its species is 5067 years old.
In fact, the Methuselah tree is the oldest known non-clonal organism on Earth. Based on its age, it is estimated that Methuselah germinated around 2832 BCE which makes it older than the famous Egyptian pyramids.
So, Methuselah is the oldest living tree in the world. It is also one of the most famous trees in the world.
However, the exact location of this gnarled and twisted Methuselah is a well-kept secret by the U.S. Forest Service Department.
It is done so to protect it from the public and keep the tree safe from vandalism.
Methuselah is a medium-sized tree that can reach up to 5 to 15 m (16 to 49 ft) tall. Its trunk diameter can be up to 2.5 to 3.6 m (8 to 12 ft).
Its bark is orange-yellow in color and scaly at the base of the trunk. Methuselah leaves have the highest persistence level and can remain green for as much as 45 years.
In 1964, a researcher with the consent of U.S. Forest Service, chopped down a tree which was around 4900 years old (named Prometheus). At present, we can still visit the grove of the ancient bristlecone pine tree forest but can we identify which tree Methuselah is?
This tree is also one of the Great Basin bristlecone pine trees. It is the oldest known non-clonal organism. It is nearly 4844 years old and is located in Nevada, U.S. near the tree line of Wheeler Peak.
Prometheus was the tree that was chopped by the researcher (graduate student) with the permission of U.S. Forest Service in 1964.
Prometheus can be found near the tree line on the lateral moraine of a former glacier on Wheeler Peak, in Great Basin National Park, eastern Nevada.
However, Prometheus is accessible only by popular interpretive trail. It grew in an area which is reachable only by off-trail hiking.
In 1958, there was a group of naturalists who gave names to many largest or most distinctive trees, including Prometheus.
It was estimated that the tree was at least 4844 years old. This was later increased to 4862 by Donald Graybill of the University of Arizona & Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research.
The ring counts were done with a trunk cross-section which was about 2.5 m (8 feet) above the original germination point of the tree. If other corrections are taken into consideration, it is most likely that the tree must have been 5000 years old when felled.
By this count, the Prometheus should be the oldest known non-clonal organism at the time even surpassing the Methuselah tree in California.
Until 2012, Prometheus was regarded as the oldest non-clonal organism yet discovered. It must be 4862 years of age. The picture is of the grove in which this tree grew to its magnificence.
3. Llangernyw Yew
The Llangernyw Yew is dated to be around 4000 to 5000 years old. It’s an ancient yew in the village of Llangernyw, Conwy, North Wales.
The tree is almost fragmented with its core part is lost. This has left several enormous offshoots. The girth of the tree measures about 10.75 m at the ground level.
The male yew tree can be found in the churchyard of St. Digain’s Church in the village of Llangernyw, North Wales.
According to the certificate from the Yew Tree Campaign in 2002 (which was signed by David Bellamy), it was estimated that the tree must be from 4000 to 5000 years old.
The certificate acknowledges the fact that “according to all the data we have to hand.”
However, there’s also an alternative theory which states that the tree could be as old as the adjacent saint site which would make the tree as old as 1500 years of age.
It so happened that in the mid-1990s a church oil tank stood in between the two trunk fragments. However, it was later removed when it was realized that the tree was ancient. In fact, a lot of the deadwood was removed from the site making the dating very difficult for dendrochronologists.
In June 2002, the Tree Council of Great Britain designated the Llangernyw Yew tree as one of the Fifty Great British trees and recognized its place in national heritage.
This tree is around 4000 years old and has the privilege of being a National Monument of Iran and a major tourist attraction.
Sarv-e-Abarqu can also be called the ‘Zoroastrian Sarv.’ It resides in Yazd province of Central Iran and is perhaps Asia’s oldest living thing.
This tree is around 25 meters high and has a circumference of 18 meters. Its majesty is awe-inspiring and is a pleasant habitat for many species.
This ancient tree is known by several names such as the Cypress of Abarqu and also as Zoroastrian Sarv. It is a Cupressus sempervirens tree in the Abarqu of Yazd Province in Iran.
The Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran has protected the tree. It is a national natural monument and a major tourist attraction.
It is estimated that this ancient tree must be around 4000 to 5000 years old. However, it is hardly possible to know the exact age of the tree.
One of its major highlights is the fact that the tree is still cultivated after all these years. The main reason for its longevity is attributed to favorable natural conditions.
There’s even a fairytale about the tree. It is said that Zoroaster first planted the tree. However, it is hard to say if this story is true or not.
That said, the fact remains that cypress was of great importance Zoroastrianism as well as in ancient Iran. The tree is full of vitality in all the four seasons of the year.
5. Gran Abuelo
This tree belongs to the Fitzroya Cupressoides (Patagonian Cypress) family of trees which are tall & evergreen.
The genus has been named in honor of Robert FitzRoy. The Fitzroya is a tall and long-lived conifer native to the Andes mountains of southern Chile and Argentina.
It is the largest tree species in South America.
It normally grows to a height of 40m to 60m, and occasionally it can reach up to 70m. Its trunk diameter is about 5m. The leaves come in whorls of three and are 3 to 6 mm long, and 2mm broad. They are marked with two white stomatal lines.
Gran Abuelo is nearly 3644 years old and is situated in Alerce Costero National Park, Andes Mountains, Chile.
All the trees in this family tend to survive for a long period. It is said that the Huilliche people used the wood for making tools and weapons.
Since numerous specimens were heavily logged between the 1800s and 1900s, the maximum age that they can reach to can’t be estimated.
6. The Senator
The Senator was around 3500 years old and was perhaps the largest and oldest cypress tree in the world. It was recognized as the 5th oldest tree in the world.
Located in Florida at the Big Tree Park, Longwood, this tree had an impressive height of 125 feet (38 m) and a girth of 17.5 feet (5.3 m).
The Senator was destroyed by fire on January 16, 2012, started by a 26-year-old Sara Barnes. This tree was highly honored by the native tribes and Seminole Indians who considered the Senator as a landmark.
This extremely tall tree had borne and survived many adversities including a hurricane of 40-feet in 1925. The Seminoles, as well as other Native American Indians, used this tree as a landmark.
The Senator has been named after Florida State Senator Moses Overstreet. He had donated the tree and surrounding land to Seminole County for a park in 1927.
Former US President Calvin Coolidge had reportedly visited the Senator in 1929. He dedicated the site with a commemorative bronze plaque.
Some people feel that the tree is still alive today. They have seen saplings at the base of the tree.
Moreover, some group of artists and woodworkers has created works of art from the charred remains of the Senator.
The items include vases, pens, ornate flute, and sculptures. These items have been made available at art shows and exhibitions.
A memorial has also been constructed along the newly renovated boardwalk. A clone of the Senator has been planted near the playground and has been named as “The Phoenix.”
7. The President
This grand tree measures 247 feet (75 m) high and 27 feet (8.2 m) wide and is the oldest known sequoia ever.
Although The President tree is not the tallest giant sequoia tree in the world or the widest, still the fact remains that it is the second-largest tree in the world when measured by the volume of the trunk.
In fact, The President is the oldest-known living sequoia in the world being as much as 3200 years old. In 2012, the volume of its trunk was measured, and it was recorded at about 45,000 cubic feet, and an additional 9,000 cubic feet of branches.
The tree named after President Warren G. Harding in 1923.
There is another giant sequoia around this tree including Chief Sequoyah, which is the 27th-largest sequoia in the world, and the Congress Group, a medium-sized sequoia, representing the “House” and “Senate.”
8. Patriarca da Floresta
With over 3000 years of age, Patriarca da Floresta hits the 8th spot on the top 10 oldest trees in the world.
If we translate its name, it reads ‘Patriarch of the Forest.’
This tree belongs to the Cariniana Legalis family and located in Santa Rita do Passa Quatro, Brazil. The Cariniana Legalis is also found in Columbia and Venezuela.
However, the species is an endangered one due to forest clearing and habitat loss.
It is the best example of the species Cariniana Legalis and is also known as Jequitiba Rosa.
The tree reaches the height of 49 m. It is the oldest non-conifer in Brazil and is believed to be very sacred.
Patriarca da Floresta has a massive trunk. It takes as much as ten people to hold hands together for embracing its massive trunk. Its trunk has a circumference of about 16m.
9. Elia Vouvon
Translated as the ‘Olive Tree of Vouves,’ the Elia Vouvon tree is probably the oldest tree in the Mediterranean.
Located on the Greek Island of Crete, Elia Vouvon has been around for nearly 2000-5000 years.
It still can produce olives which are highly prized. It’s one of the seven olive trees found in the Mediterranean that is over 2000 years old.
Scientists from the University of Crete have estimated its age to be 4000 years old. Its trunk circumference measures 12.50 meters. Its diameter is 4.60 meters.
Since olive trees are preventive to diseases and are resistant to catching fire easily, their longevity is something not surprising.
People who visit Greece should see it. The tree has been declared as “natural heritage monument” by the Secretary-General of the Region of Crete.
The Elia Vouvon has special ecological and historical importance.
10. Jōmon Sugi
Jōmon Sugi is approximately 2170-5170 years old and has a girth of 9.6 meters.
Located in Yakushima, Japan, this cryptomeria tree is the oldest and biggest tree in the entire island which is why this location has the honor of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The tree’s name got derived from the Jōmon period of Japanese prehistory. The tree was discovered in 1968.
It can be accessed using the Kusugawa Hiking Path (east of Miyanoura) and the Arakawa Trail (starting at the Arakawa Dam). However, you must be ready for a four-to-five hour mountain hike from the nearest road.
The tree reaches a height of 25.3 meters (83 ft). Its trunk circumference is 16.4 meters (54 ft).
It is the largest conifer in Japan with a volume of about 300 cubic meters. Tree-ring dating has confirmed that Jōmon Sugi is at least 2000 years old.
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