List of oldest trees
This is a list of the oldest known trees, as reported in reliable sources. Definitions of what constitutes an individual tree vary. In addition, tree ages are derived from a variety of sources, including documented "tree-ring" count core samples, and from estimates. For these reasons, this article presents three lists of "oldest trees", each using varying criteria.
There are three tables of trees, which are listed by age and species. The first table includes trees for which a minimum age has been directly determined, either through counting or cross-referencing tree rings or through radiocarbon dating. Many of these trees may be even older than their listed ages, but the oldest wood in the tree has rotted away. For some old trees, so much of the centre is missing that their age cannot be directly determined. Instead, estimates are made based on the tree's size and presumed growth rate. The second table includes trees with these estimated ages. The last table lists clonal colonies in which no individual tree trunks may be remarkably old but in which the organism as a whole is thought to be very old.
The record-holders for individual, non-clonal trees may be the Great Basin bristlecone pine trees from California and Nevada, in the United States. Through tree-ring cross-referencing, they have been shown to be more than 5,000 years old.
A clonal colony can survive for much longer than an individual tree. A colony of 47,000 quaking aspen trees (nicknamed "Pando"), covering 106 acres (43 ha) in the Fishlake National Forest of the United States, is considered one of the oldest and largest organisms in the world. The colony has been estimated to be 80,000 years old, although tree ring samples date individual, above-ground, trees at only an average of about 130 years. A colony of Huon pine trees covering 2.5 acres (1.0 ha) on Mount Read, Tasmania is estimated to be around 10,000 years old, as determined by DNA samples taken from pollen collected from the sediment of a nearby lake. Individual trees in this group date to no more than 4,000 years old, as determined by tree ring samples.
Individual trees with verified ages
Old trees with estimated ages
Olea europaea, Baladi/Ayrouni: Genotype
|Bechealeh, Batroun district, Lebanon||Also called "The Sisters Olive Trees of Noah"; alleged to be the world's oldest living olive tree.|
|Llangernyw Yew||4,000-5,000||Common Yew
|Llangernyw, Conwy, North Wales||Girth of 10.75m. Situated in the churchyard of St. Dygain's Church in Llangernyw village. One of the 50 Great British Trees.|
|Sarv-e Abarkuh||4,000||Mediterranean cypress
|Abarkuh, Yazd, Iran||Also called "Zoroastrian Sarv".|
|The Senator||3,500||Pond cypress
|Longwood, Florida, United States||Destroyed by fire on January 16, 2012|
|Alishan Sacred Tree||3,000||Formosan cypress
|Alishan National Scenic Area, Chiayi, Taiwan||Collapsed on July 1, 1997, following heavy rainstorms.|
|Luras, Sardinia, Italy|||
|Patriarca da Floresta||3,000||Cariniana legalis||Brazil||Probably the oldest non-conifer in Brazil. Its name translates as "Patriarch of the Forest".|
|Oliveira de Santa Iria de Azóia||2,850||Olive
|Santa Iria de Azóia, Portugal||Magnific Olive tree, probably the last one from a large olive grove. Studied by UTAD University and now classified "Public interest tree" by the Portuguese National Forest Authority ; Tree ID|
|Loures, Lisboa, Portugal||Alive.|
|Kayano Ōsugi||2,300||Japanese cedar
|Yamanaka Onsen, Ishikawa, Japan||Girth of 9.6 m. One of the four trees believed to be sacred in the precincts in a Shinto shrine. Its name translates as "Great Sugi of Kayano".|
|Jōmon Sugi||2,170–7,200||Japanese cedar
|Yakushima, Japan||Girth of 16.4 m. Exact dating is made difficult by the rotten core of the trunk. Its name is a reference to the Jōmon period of Japanese prehistory.|
|Ballyconnell Yew||2,000–5,000||European yew
|Ballyconnell, Annagh, Ireland||Oldest tree in Ireland and possibly in Europe.|
|Fortingall Yew||2,000–3,000||European yew
|Fortingall, Perthshire, Scotland||Possibly the oldest tree in Britain|
|Kolymvari, Crete, Greece||Oldest olive tree in the world. Its name translates as "Olive Tree of Vouves".|
|Castagnu dê Centu Cavaddi||2,000–4,000||Sweet chestnut
|Sicily, Italy||Its name translates as the "Hundred Horse Chestnut".|
|Te Matua Ngahere||2,000–3,000||Kauri
|Waipoua Forest, Northland, New Zealand||Oldest tree in New Zealand. Its name translates as "Father of the Forest".|
|Ulleungdo Hyangnamu||2,000–3,000||Chinese Juniper
|Ulleung-gun, Gyeongbuk, South Korea||Girth of 4.5 m. One of the main branch was broken in 1985 by typhoon "Brenda".|
|Lady Liberty||2,000||Bald cypress
|Longwood, Florida, United States||Sometimes called the "Companion Tree" to 'Senator".|
|Shusha, Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan||Oldest tree in Azerbaijan. Its trunk is hollow. Also known as "Sose's Tree".|
|Stari Bar, Bar Montenegro|
|The Pechanga Great Oak Tree||2,000||Coast live oak
|Temecula, California, United States||Oldest oak tree in the United States, possibly in the world.|
|Tavira, Algarve, Portugal||Oldest tree in Portugal.|
|Exo Hora, Zakynthos, Greece|||
|Sochi, Krasnodar Krai, Russia||A grove known to possess several 2,000-year-old specimens.|
|Houkisugi at Nakagawa||2,000||Japanese cedar
|Nakagawa Settlement, Yamakita town, Ashigarakami District, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan|
|Jægerspris Nordskov, Zealand, Denmark|||
|Redwood, California, United States|||
|Granit oak||1,700||Pedunculate oak
|Saint-Mars-sur-la-Futaie, Mayenne, France||Oldest tree in France.|
|Angel Oak||1,500||Southern live oak
|Charleston, South Carolina, United States|
|Seven Sisters Oak||1,500||Southern live oak
|Mandeville, Louisiana, United States|
|Stelmužė Oak||1,500||Pedunculate oak
|Stelmužė, Zarasai, Lithuania||Oldest tree in the Baltic states.|
|Jardine Juniper||1,500||Rocky Mountain juniper
|Logan Canyon, Utah, United States|||
|Árbol del Tule||1,433–1,600||Montezuma cypress
|Santa María del Tule, Oaxaca, Mexico||Stoutest tree trunk in the world. Its name translates as the "Tule Tree".|
As with all long-lived plant and fungal species, no individual part of a clonal colony is alive (in the sense of active metabolism) for more than a very small fraction of the life of the entire clone. Some clonal colonies may be fully connected via their root systems, while most are not actually interconnected, but are genetically identical clones which populated an area through vegetative reproduction. Ages for clonal colonies, often based on current growth rates, are estimates.
|Fishlake National Forest, Utah, United States||Covers 107 acres (0.43 km2) and has around 47,000 stems (average age 130 years), which continually die and are renewed by its roots. Is also the heaviest known organism, weighing 6,000 tonnes.|
|Jurupa Oak||13,000||Palmer oak
|Jurupa Mountains, California, United States||Quercus palmeri Engelm. = Quercus dunnii Kellogg.|
|Old Tjikko||9,550||Norway spruce
|Fulufjället National Park, Dalarna, Sweden||The tree's stems live no more than 600 years, but its root system's age was established using carbon dating and genetic matching. Elsewhere in the Fulu mountains, 20 spruces have been found older than 8,000 years.|
|Old Rasmus||9,500||Norway spruce
|Mount Read, Tasmania, Australia||Several genetically identical males that have reproduced vegetatively. Although single trees in this stand may be around 3 to 4 thousand years old, the stand itself as a single organism has existed for 10,000 years.|
- King Clone
- List of largest giant sequoias
- List of long-living organisms
- List of old growth forests
- List of superlative trees
- Veteran tree
- It is uncertain when Methuselah's age was determined, but "it seems likely the tree had 4,789 rings (crossdated) in the summer of 1957". The age given here is based on this reference point.
- Grant, Michael C. (1 October 1993). "The Trembling Giant". Discover Magazine. Retrieved 8 May 2008.
- "Botanical Record-Breakers". W.P Armstrong. Retrieved 7 May 2008.
- "Quaking Aspen". National Park Service - Bryce Canyon. Retrieved 7 May 2008.
- "SPECIES: Populus tremuloides". USDA - United States Forest Service. Retrieved 8 May 2008.
- "Native Conifers of Tasmania". Paks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania. Retrieved 6 May 2008.
- "Rocky Mountain Tree-Ring Research, OLDLIST". Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- "Pinus longaeva". Gymnosperm Database. March 15, 2007. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
- Lara, Antonio; Villalba, Ricardo (21 May 1993). "A 3620-Year Temperature Record from Fitzroya cupressoides Tree Rings in Southern South America". Science 260 (5111): 1104–1106. doi:10.1126/science.260.5111.1104.
- Brunstein, F. Craig; Yamaguchi, David K. (Aug 1992). "The Oldest Known Rocky Mountain Bristlecone Pines (Pinus aristata Engelm.)". Arctic and Alpine Research 24 (3): 253–256. doi:10.2307/1551666. JSTOR 1551666.
- Worrall, John (1990). "Subalpine Larch: Oldest Trees in Canada?". The Forestry Chronicle 66: 478–479. doi:10.5558/tfc66478-5.
- Miles, D.H.; Worthington, M.J. (17–21 June 1998). "Sonora Pass junipers from California USA: construction of a 3,500-year chronology". In Stravinskiene, V.; Juknys, R. Dendrochronology and Environmental Trends - Proceedings of the International Conference. Kaunas, Lithuania: Vytautas Magnas University Department of Environmental Sciences.
- Suzuki, Eizi; Tsukahara, Jun (1987). "Age structure and regeneration of old growth Cryptomeria japonica forests on Yakushima Island". J. of Plant Research 100 (3): 223–241. doi:10.1007/BF02492832.
- Schulman, E. (1956). Dendroclimatic Changes in Semiarid America. Tucson: Univ. of Ariz. Press.
- Larson, D. W.; Kelly, P. E. (1991). "The extent of old-growth Thuja occidentalis on cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment". Canadian Journal of Botany 69 (7): 1628–1636. doi:10.1139/b91-206.
- Stahle, D. W.; Cleaveland, M. K.; Hehr, J. G. (10 June 1988). "North Carolina Climate Changes Reconstructed from Tree Rings: A.D. 372 to 1985". Science 240 (4858): 1517–1519. doi:10.1126/science.240.4858.1517. PMID 17798982.
- Carol Drinkwater (2011). "Lebanon". The Olive Route (1st ed.). Orion. p. 33. ISBN 978-1-78022-064-2.
- "Epic Olive trees". Oliveoiltimes.com. 2012-06-10. Retrieved 2013-01-11.
- "Bechealeh’s ancient trees still producing high-end olive oil". Daily Star Lebanon. 2012-10-31. Retrieved 2013-01-11.
- Encyclopædia Iranica, s.v. 
- "Trees in ancient Iran". Earthwatchers. Retrieved 2013-01-11.
- Pavuk, Amy. "'The Senator' Catches Fire". Orlando Sentinel. Times Newspaper. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
- Scheper, J. "Florida's Big Tree". Floridata.com. Retrieved 7 May 2008.
- "Alishan Forest Recreation area has new "tree king"". Taipei Times. 2006-07-02. Retrieved 2013-01-11.
- "A Luras il patriarca degli olivastri millenari d'Europa" (in Italian). COMUNE DI LURAS. Archived from the original on 2013-01-11.
- "UTAD classificou oliveira com 2.850 anos!" (in Portuguese). CienciaPT. 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2013-01-11.
- Hobson, Jake (2007). Niwaki: Pruning, Training and Shaping Trees the Japanese Way. Timber Press. p. 86. ISBN 978-0-88192-835-8. Retrieved 25 August 2008.
- Flora and Fauna Fact Sheet (Web Japan)
- Miyazaki, Makoto. "The old men of the mountains". The Yomiuri Shimbun. Retrieved 15 June 2008.
- Bevan-Jones, Robert (2004). The ancient yew: a history of Taxus baccata. Bollington: Windgather Press. pp. 38–39. ISBN 0-9545575-3-0.
- "The Olive Tree and Olive Oil". Sfakia-crete.com. Retrieved 2013-01-11.
- "The oldest olive tree in Europe". Waymarking.com. Retrieved 2013-01-11.
- "the-oldest-olive-tree pictures, videos and albums". Webshots.com. Retrieved 2013-01-11.
- "О Кавказе". Wwf.ru. 2008-07-24. Retrieved 2013-01-11.
- "Kong Frederik den Syvendes Stiftelse Paa Jægerspris". Kongfrederik.dk. Retrieved 2013-01-11.
- ""Methuselah" Redwood - Woodside, California". Waymarking.com. Retrieved 2013-01-11.
- "Jardine Juniper Trail". Utahmountainbiking.com. 2001-08-31. Retrieved 2013-01-11.
- Gymnosperm Database (2 January 2007). "How Old Is That Tree?". Retrieved 25 July 2006.
- Quaking Aspen by the Bryce Canyon National Park Service
- Genetic Variation and the Natural History of Quaking Aspen, Mitton, J. B. & Grant, M. C. (1996). BioScience 46 (1): 25-31.
- Connor, Steve (Science Editor), "At 13,000 years, tree is world's oldest organism", The Independent (newspaper), United Kingdom, December 23, 2009, online article December 22, 2009.
- May, Michael R.; Provance, Mitchell C.; Sanders, Andrew C.; Ellstrand, Norman C.; and Ross-Ibarra, Jeffrey, "A Pleistocene Clone of Palmer's Oak Persisting in Southern California", PLoS ONE, Vol. 4, Issue 12, December, 2009.
- "Swedes find 'world's oldest tree'". BBC News. 17 April 2008.
- Owen, James (14 April 2008). "Oldest Living Tree Found in Sweden". National Geographic.
- "World's oldest living tree discovered in Sweden". Swedish Research Council. 16 April 2008.
- Roger Highfield (17 April 2008). "World's oldest tree discovered in Sweden". London: The Daily Telegraph.
- Swedish dn.se
- "The Oldest Living Tasmanian: The Huon Pine". Australian Boradcasting Company. Retrieved 2013-01-11.
- "Oldest Living Tree Found in Sweden". National Geographic News. 2008-04-08. Retrieved 2013-01-11.