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Top 10 Oldest Living Trees in the World

Top 10 Oldest Living Trees in the World

We all know or have heard of antiques that are preserved for hundreds or thousands of years. Between architectural wonders, works of art, pieces of jewellery and more, these objects prevail today.

However, did you know that there are majestic trees that have lived for thousands of years? These amazing plants have seen the rise and fall of civilizations, survived changing climates, and even persevered when urban development began to ‘steal’ their space. They are testimony that Mother Nature’s long-term vision is to preserve and care for our planet Earth.

Methuselah

Until 2013, Methuselah, a long-lived pine tree, was the oldest known organism on Earth. While Methuselah still stands at an astonishing 4,852 years of age in California’s White Mountains, another long-lived pine was recently discovered in the area that is over 5,000 years old. 

Source: Flickr

Although the exact location of Methuselah and his ‘cousin’ are being kept secret to protect them, you can visit the Inyo National Forest where they meet, but you’ll have to guess which one is the famous millennial.

Sarv-e Abarqu

Also known as the ‘Zoroastrian Sarv’, the Sarv-e Abarqu is a cypress tree over 4,000 years old located in Yazd Province, Iran. Having witnessed the first steps of human civilization, this tree is protected by the Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran as a national monument.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

 It is one of the main attractions in Iran, with a height of 25 meters. Many agree that the Sarv-e Abarkuh is probably the oldest living thing in Asia.

Llangernyw Yew

This incredible yew tree resides in a small graveyard at St. Dygain’s Church in the North Wales village of Llangernyw. Some 4,000 years old, the Llangernyw yew was planted sometime in the prehistoric Bronze Age, and it’s still growing.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

In 2002, in celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee, the Tree Council designated the tree one of the 50 largest trees in Great Britain.

Alerce

Alerce is a common name for Fitzroya cupressoides, a towering tree species native to the Andes mountains. It is almost unknown how old these trees may grow to be, as most of the largest specimens were heavily felled in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Many botanists believe they are the second longest-living trees on Earth, besides the North American bristlecone pine. To date, the oldest known living specimen is 3,646 years old and appropriately named Grandfather.

Patriarca da Floresta

This tree, an example of the Cariniana legalis species named Patriarca da Floresta in Brazil, is estimated to be over 2,000 years old, making it the oldest non-coniferous tree in Brazil.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The tree is believed to be sacred, but its species is highly threatened, due to the clearing of forests in Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela.

The Senator

Although El Senador suffered a tragedy after a forest fire in 2012 caused the collapse of a large part of the tree, it is worth mentioning in this count. Formerly located in Florida, El Senador was the oldest bald cypress of its kind. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons

It is estimated that it was around 3,500 years old and that it served as a landmark for the Seminole and other native tribes. It got its name from Senator MO Overstreet, who donated the land where it stood in 1927.

Olive Tree of Vouves

This thousand-year-old olive tree is located on the island of Crete, in Greece. It is one of only seven olive trees in the Mediterranean believed to be at least 2,000 to 3,000 years old.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Although it is not yet possible to confirm its exact age, the Olive Tree of Vouves could be the oldest of them, since it is estimated that its age exceeds 3,000 years.

Jōmon Sugi

In Yakushima, Japan is home to the Jōmon Sugi, the country’s oldest and largest cryptomeria tree, and is one of the many reasons this island was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The tree is at least 2,000 years old, but some experts believe it could be more than 5,000. According to that theory, it is possible that Jōmon Sugi is the oldest tree in the world, even older than Methuselah.

Hundred horse chestnut

This tree, located on Mount Etna in Sicily, Italy, is the oldest and largest chestnut tree in the world. It is believed to be between 2,000 and 4,000 years old, and its age is particularly interesting since Mount Etna is one of the world’s active volcanoes.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The tree is located only 8 kilometers from the Etna crater. The name of the tree originated from a legend in which a company of 100 knights was caught in the middle of a strong electrical storm. According to the story, everyone was able to take refuge under this huge tree.

General Sherman

At approximately 2,500 years old, General Sherman is the most imposing giant sequoia in existence. The volume of its trunk alone makes it the largest tree in the world by volume, despite the fact that its largest branch snapped in 2006, tearing apart part of the fence that surrounded it and creating craters in the pavement. 

Source: Flickr 

General Sherman can be visited in the Sequoia National Park in California, where there are five of the 10 largest trees in the world.

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