At 5,065 Years Old, Meet the World’s Oldest Living Tree (But This Tree Isn’t It)
Apple| | By Jason Owen
And you thought your parents were old.
Until several years ago, researchers had thought the oldest living tree in the world was a 4,847-year-old Great Basin bristlecone pine, located in the White Mountains of California. The tree was aptly named “Methuselah,” after the man reported to have lived the longest – 969 years – in the Hebrew Bible, according to Wikipedia. However, researchers have now located another tree that is more than 200 years older than Methuselah.
Also located in the White Mountains, another Great Basin bristlecone pine has been dated by the Rocky Mountain Tree-Ring Research group to 5,062 years old (as of 2012; so she’s got a few extra years, or tree-rings on her now). The tree has yet to be named.
In a recent Facebook video posted by Mental Floss, they explain the discovery of the tree, but that researchers have kept the exact location of the tree a secret out of fear that too many visitors might harm or damage the tree and surrounding area. Essentially, they fear humans might “love it to death.”
After this new tree and Methuselah, the next confirmed oldest tree was yet another Great Basin bristlecone pine named Prometheus, located in Wheeler Peak in Nevada. However, that tree was cut down in 1964.
Wikipedia lists two more 4,000-year-old-plus trees, but their exact ages are only estimated and have never officially been confirmed.
The Llangernyw Yew located in North Wales is thought to be between 4,000-5,000 years old.
The Sarv-e Abarkuh (also known as the “Zoroastrian Sarv”) is a Mediterranean cypress located in Abarkuh, Yazd, Iran, and is considered a national monument. LiveScience.com states the tree “may well be the oldest living thing in Asia.”
For now, you can only imagine what the world’s oldest tree looks like, or you adventurer-types can head out to the White Mountains to try to find it yourselves.