List of oldest trees

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Pando, a colony of quaking aspen, is one of the oldest-known clonal trees. Estimates of its age range from up to 14,000 years old to 80,000 or even 1,000,000 years old. It is located in Utah, United States.

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" (Dendrochronological) 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 current record-holders for individual, non-clonal trees are 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 almost five millennia old.

A clonal colony can survive for much longer than an individual tree. A colony of 48,000 quaking aspen trees (nicknamed Pando), covering 106 acres (43 ha) in the Fishlake National Forest of Utah, is considered one of the oldest and largest organisms in the world. Recent estimates set the colony's age at several thousand (up to 14,000) years, although tree ring samples date individual stems at rarely more than 130 years.[1][2][3][4][5] 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.[6]

Individual trees with verified ages[edit]

Name Age
(years)
Species Location Country Notes
Prometheus
(WPN-114)
4,900+ Great Basin bristlecone pine
Pinus longaeva
Wheeler Peak, Nevada United States Cut down by Donald Rusk Currey in 1964.[7]
Methuselah 4,852[nb 1] Great Basin bristlecone pine
Pinus longaeva
White Mountains (California) United States It is the oldest known living (non-clonal) tree in the world.[9]
Gran Abuelo 3,649 Patagonian cypress
Fitzroya cupressoides
Cordillera Pelada, Los Ríos Chile Alive.[9][10] Located within Alerce Costero National Park.[11]
CBR26 3,266 Giant sequoia
Sequoiadendron giganteum
Sierra Nevada, California United States Dead.[9]
D-21 3,220 Giant sequoia
Sequoiadendron giganteum
Sierra Nevada, California United States Dead.[9]
D-23 3,075 Giant sequoia
Sequoiadendron giganteum
Sierra Nevada, California United States Dead.[9]
CMC 3 3,033 Giant sequoia
Sequoiadendron giganteum
Sierra Nevada, California United States Dead.[9]
Scofield Juniper 2,675 Western juniper
Juniperus occidentalis
Sierra Nevada, California United States Dead.[9]
BLK227 2,646 Bald cypress
Taxodium distichum
Three Sisters Cove, Black River (North Carolina) United States [12]
CB-90-11 2,463 Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine
Pinus aristata
central Colorado United States [9][13]
Panke Baobab 2,419 African baobab
Adansonia digitata
Matabeleland North Zimbabwe Dead in 2011; the oldest non-clonal angiosperm ever documented.[14]
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi 2,307 Sacred fig
Ficus religiosa
Anuradhapura, North Central Province Sri Lanka A sapling from the historical Bodhi tree under which the Buddha became enlightened. It was brought to its current location and planted at around 288 BC by Sanghamitra, daughter of Emperor Ashoka. It is the oldest living human-planted tree in the world with a known planting date.[15]
? 2,200 Coast redwood
Sequoia sempervirens
northern California United States Dead.[9]
Bennett Juniper 2,200 Western juniper
Juniperus occidentalis
Sierra Nevada, California United States [9]
SHP 7 2,110 Foxtail pine
Pinus balfouriana
Sierra Nevada California United States [9]
BLK232 2,089 Bald cypress
Taxodium distichum
Three Sisters Cove, Black River (North Carolina) United States [12]
? 1,947 Subalpine larch
Larix lyallii
Kananaskis, Alberta Canada [9][16]
CRE 175 1,889 Rocky Mountain juniper
Juniperus scopulorum
northern New Mexico United States [9]
Miles Juniper 1,832 Western juniper
Juniperus occidentalis
Sierra Nevada, California United States [9][17]
Jōmon Sugi 1,809 Sugi
Cryptomeria japonica
Yakushima Island Japan [18]
KET 3996 1,723 Limber pine
Pinus flexilis
Ketchum, Idaho United States [9][19]
BFR-46 1,697 Limber pine
Pinus flexilis
Wasatch Mountains, Utah United States [9]
FL117 1,682 Northern whitecedar
Thuja occidentalis
Ontario Canada [9][20]
ERE 1,670 Limber pine
Pinus flexilis
northern New Mexico United States [9]
RCR 1 1,666 Foxtail pine
Pinus balfouriana
Sierra Nevada, California United States [9]
? 1,661 Limber pine
Pinus flexilis
South Park (Park County, Colorado) United States [9]
BBL 2 1,649 Foxtail pine
Pinus balfouriana
Sierra Nevada, California United States [9]
BCK 69 1,654 Bald cypress
Taxodium distichum
Bladen County, North Carolina United States [9][21]
? 1,636 Nootka cypress
Callitropsis nootkatensis
Vancouver Island Canada [9]
FL101 1,567 Northern whitecedar
Thuja occidentalis
Ontario Canada [9]
? 1,542 Limber pine
Pinus flexilis
central Colorado United States [9]

Old trees with estimated ages[edit]

Note: The ages of the trees in this list are speculative and probably unreliable.

Name Age
(years)
Species Location Country Notes
?[nb 2] 5,072 Great Basin bristlecone pine
Pinus longaeva
White Mountains (California) United States Tree cored by Edmund Schulman, age determined by Tom Harlan. However, core is missing and date is unconfirmed.[9]
Llangernyw Yew 4,000–5,000 Common yew
Taxus baccata
Llangernyw, Conwy United Kingdom Girth of 10.75 m. Situated in the churchyard of St Dygain's Church in Llangernyw village. One of the 50 Great British Trees.
Sarv-e Abarkuh 4,500 Mediterranean cypress
Cupressus sempervirens
Abarkuh, Yazd Iran Also called "Zoroastrian Sarv".[22][23]
Sarv Zibad 2,500 Mediterranean cypress
Cupressus sempervirens
Sarv Zibad, Khorasan Iran Also called "holly Sarv".[24][25]
Gümeli Porsuğu 4,115 Yew
Taxus baccata
Zonguldak Turkey Alive, found in 2016.[26][27]
The Ancient Yew 4,000 Yew
Taxus baccata
Tisbury, Wiltshire United Kingdom 37 feet in circumference. Situated in the churchyard of St John's, Tisbury. Carbon dated by David Bellamy.[28]
The Senator 3,500 Pond cypress
Taxodium ascendens
Longwood, Florida United States Died in January 2012 from human-caused fire.[29][30]
Oliveira do Mouchão (KNJ1/601) 3,350 European olive tree

Olea europea L. var. europaea

Mouriscas, Abrantes Portugal Alive.[31][32]
The President 3,200 Giant sequoia
Sequoiadendron giganteum
Sierra Nevada, California United States Alive.
Fortingall Yew 3,000 Common yew
Taxus baccata
Fortingall, Perthshire United Kingdom Alive. Possibly the oldest tree in Britain.[33][34][clarification needed]
Alishan Sacred Tree 3,000 Formosan cypress
Chamaecyparis formosensis
Alishan National Scenic Area, Chiayi Taiwan Collapsed on July 1, 1997, following heavy rainstorms.[35]
S’Ozzastru 3,000–4,000 Olive
Olea europaea
Luras, Sardinia Italy [36]
Patriarca da Floresta [pt] 3,020 Jequitibá-rosa

Cariniana legalis

Santa Rita do Passa Quatro, São Paulo Brazil Alive. Probably the oldest non-conifer in Brazil. Its name translates as "Patriarch of the Forest". Located at the Vassununga State Park.[37]
Raintree 3,000 Great Basin bristlecone pine Spring Mountains, Nevada United States Great Basin Bristlecone Pine located near Kyle Canyon in the Spring Mountain range in Southern Nevada, USA. Estimated 3000 years old but never cored.
Oliveira de Santa Iria de Azóia [Wikidata] 2,850 Olive
Olea europaea
Santa Iria de Azóia [pt], Loures, Lisbon Portugal Magnificent 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[38]
Mother of the Forest 2,520 Giant sequoia
Sequoiadendron giganteum
Sierra Nevada, California, United States |Calaveras Big Trees State Park, California United States Dead.
General Sherman 2,300–2,700 Giant sequoia
Sequoiadendron giganteum
Giant Forest, Sequoia National Park, California United States Alive with a height of 83.8 meters (275 ft), a diameter of 11 m (36 ft) at its base, and an estimated bole volume of 1,487 m3 (52,513 cu ft), it is the largest known living single-stem tree, and among the tallest, widest, and longest-lived of all trees on the planet.[39][40]
Kayano Ōsugi 2,300 Japanese cedar
Cryptomeria japonica
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".
Oliveira de Santa Luzia 2,210 Olive
Olea europaea
Santa Luzia, Tavira, Algarve Portugal Alive.[41]
Jōmon Sugi 2,170–7,200 Japanese cedar
Cryptomeria japonica
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.[42][43][44]
Koca Katran 2,022 Lebanon cedar
Cedrus libani
Antalya Turkey Alive.[45]
Ballyconnell Yew 2,000–5,000 Yew
Taxus baccata
Ballyconnell, Annagh Ireland Oldest tree in Ireland.[citation needed]
Elia Vouvon 2,000–5,000 Olive
Olea europaea
Kolymvari, Crete Greece Its name translates as "Olive Tree of Vouves".[46]
Castagnu dê Centu Cavaddi 2,000–4,000 Sweet chestnut
Castanea sativa
Sicily Italy Its name translates as the "Hundred Horse Chestnut".
Ulleungdo Hyangnamu 2,000–3,000 Chinese juniper
Juniperus chinensis
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
Taxodium distichum
Longwood, Florida United States Sometimes called the "Companion Tree" to 'Senator".
Tnjri 2,000 Oriental plane
Platanus orientalis
Martuni Region Artsakh (de-facto) / Azerbaijan (de-jure) Oldest tree in Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). Its trunk is hollow. Also known as "Sose's Tree".
Stara Maslina 2,000 Olive
Olea europaea
Stari Bar, Bar Montenegro
The Pechanga Great Oak Tree 2,000 Coast live oak
Quercus agrifolia
Temecula, California United States Oldest oak tree in the United States, possibly in the world.
Tejo Milenario 2,000+ Yew
Taxus baccata
Cazorla, Jaén Spain Oldest tree in Spain.[47]
? 2,000 Olive
Olea europaea
Exo Hora, Zakynthos Greece [48]
? 2,000 Yew
Taxus
Sochi, Krasnodar Krai Russia A grove known to possess several 2,000-year-old specimens.[49]
Houkisugi at Nakagawa 2,000 Japanese cedar
Cryptomeria japonica
Nakagawa Settlement, Yamakita town, Ashigarakami District, Kanagawa Prefecture Japan
Methuselah 1,800 Coast redwood
Sequoia sempervirens
Woodside, California United States [50]
Araucaria Madre 1,800 Araucaria araucana Araucanía Chile Located in Parque Nacional Conguillío. 1,800 rings account for at least 1,800 years.[51]
Granit oak 1,700 Pedunculate oak
Quercus robur
Granit Bulgaria
Kongeegen 1,500–2,000 Pedunculate oak
Quercus robur
Jægerspris Nordskov, Zealand Denmark [52]
Stelmužė Oak 1,500-2,000 Pedunculate oak
Quercus robur
Stelmužė, Zarasai Lithuania Oldest tree in the Baltic states. Supposedly oldest oak in Europe.
Aubépines 1,500 Common hawthorn
Crataegus monogyna
Saint-Mars-sur-la-Futaie, Mayenne France Oldest tree in France.[citation needed]
Jardine Juniper 1,500 Rocky Mountain juniper
Juniperus scopulorum
Logan Canyon, Utah United States [53]
Árbol del Tule 1,433–1,600 Montezuma cypress
Taxodium mucronatum
Santa María del Tule, Oaxaca Mexico Stoutest tree trunk in the world. Its name translates as the "Tule Tree".
Te Matua Ngahere 1,200–4,000 Kauri
Agathis australis
Waipoua Forest, Northland New Zealand Oldest tree in New Zealand. Its name translates as "Father of the Forest".

Clonal trees[edit]

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.[citation needed]

Name Age
(years)
Species Location Country Notes
Pando less than 14,000[2]–80,000[54] (outdated) Quaking aspen
Populus tremuloides
Fishlake National Forest, Utah United States Covers 107 acres (0.43 km2) and has around 47,000 stems (aged up to 130 years), which continually die and are renewed by its roots. Is also the heaviest-known organism, weighing 6,000 tonnes.
Jurupa Oak[55] 13,000[56] Palmer oak
Quercus palmeri
Jurupa Mountains, California United States Quercus palmeri Engelm. = Quercus dunnii Kellogg.[56]
Old Tjikko 9,550 Norway spruce
Picea abies
Fulufjället National Park, Dalarna Sweden The tree's stems live no more than 600 years, but its root system's age[57][58] was established using carbon dating and genetic matching.[59] Elsewhere in the Fulu mountains, 20 spruces have been found older than 8,000 years.[60]
Old Rasmus 9,500 Norway spruce
Picea abies
Sonfjället, Härjedalen Sweden [61]
Mongarlowe mallee 3,000-13,000 Mongarlowe mallee
Eucalyptus recurva
Mongarlowe, New South Wales Australia Alive. A critically endangered species, known only from 6 wild individuals, first described in the 1980s. Based on the size and growth rate of its lignotuber, the largest single specimen is estimated to be 3,000 years old. However, it is possible that two other specimens are actually the result of a split in the original rootstock, and based on their spread of 26m would be estimated at around 13,000 years old, potentially the oldest single tree on earth.[62]
unknown 3,000[63]–10,000[64] Huon pine
Lagarostrobos franklinii
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.[6]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 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".[8] The age given here is based on this reference point.
  2. ^ Not named yet

References[edit]

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