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The oldest trees in the world

November 5, 2012

An article from Wired with profiles and photos on some of the oldest trees and tree colonies in the world… A Snippet from the article below… follow the link at the bottom of the pageto see the photos.


“Trees are some of the longest-lived organisms on the planet. At least 50 trees have been around for more than a millenium, but there may be countless other ancient trees that haven’t been discovered yet.

“Trees can live such a long time for several reasons. One secret to their longevity is their compartmentalized vascular system, which allows parts of the tree to die while other portions thrive. Many create defensive compounds to fight off deadly bacteria or parasites.

“And some of the oldest trees on earth, the great bristlecone pines, don’t seem to age like we do. At 3,000-plus years, these trees continue to grow just as vigorously as their 100-year-old counterparts. Unlike animals, these pines don’t rack up genetic mutations in their cells as the years go by.

“Some trees defy time by sending out clones, or genetically identical shoots, so that one trunk’s demise doesn’t spell the end for the organism. The giant colonies can have thousands of individual trunks, but share the same network of roots.

“This gallery contains images of some of the oldest, most venerable and impressive trees on earth.”
Here is a link to the original article The Oldest Trees on the Planet at

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Nature and Science permalink
    November 5, 2012 10:08:42 am

    First one reminded me of a Tasmanian tree, or trees. Huon pines that are apparently all vegetatitvely produced clones, on a single mountain top, where the original parent (male) tree was at least 10,000 years old. Shedding it’s pollen into an old glacial lake all that time, without a single female tree within at least 20kms. That is persistence. Some current individual trunks are 1-2,000 years old.

  2. November 5, 2012 10:08:05 pm

    It would seem that Tasmania has more than The Kings Lomatia to crow about! The Lomatia is the worlds oldest clone and has been dated to around 43 000 years old. Not bad for something that is completely vegetatively spread. Steve and I read about, and fell in love with. the bristlecones a while back. We were doing a bit of work at a nursery as part of our Diploma of Hort. and we became fast friends with the nurseryman who grows rare pines. We were able to get a pair of bristlecones (that aren’t allowed to be imported into Australia any more) that are tiny but amazingly healthy and happy and the story of their age and how they have withstood the conditions that they live in made us want to plant ours on Serendipity Farm for posterity and for opptimistic hope for the future. We both love trees…they are our passion (especially conifers). Cheers for a great post 🙂 Heres a bit about the King’s Lomatia in case anyone is interested…

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