Trees age to thousands-years-old and still living
By Zhang Hao

Nature never fails to fascinate us with wonders that go beyond our wildest imagination. Trees listed in this article couldn't serve a better example, having lived for at least 3,000 years on earth and witnessed the rise and fall of different civilizations, these "living fossils" can offer the most valuable information for us to trace back and better understand our own history.   

A ginkgo tree of over 4,000 years old in Guizhou, China. /VCG Photo

A ginkgo tree of over 4,000 years old in Guizhou, China. /VCG Photo

1. Ginkgo tree in China

Whenever the phrase "living fossil" is mentioned, ginkgo might be the first tree species one thinks about. The species been on this planet for over 56 million years, and its individuals are quite long-lived. A ginkgo tree in southwest China's Guizhou Province is discovered to be more than 4,000 years old. Having survived through many dynasties the tree grows to 50 meters high (164ft) and takes 13 adults to circle the tree hand in hand.

Methuselah Tree in the US (top L), Gran Abuelo in Chile (bottom L), Sarv-e Abarkuh in Iran(right) /Photo Designed by CGTN

Methuselah Tree in the US (top L), Gran Abuelo in Chile (bottom L), Sarv-e Abarkuh in Iran(right) /Photo Designed by CGTN

2.  Methuselah Tree

This Methuselah Tree is a 4850-year-old ancient bristlecone pine. It was once regarded as the oldest tree in the world until 2012 another bristlecone pine was found even hundreds of years older in the White Mountains of eastern California. The so-called Methuselah was founded in the 1950s by a researcher named Edmund Schulman. Since the discovery, it captured the attention of scientists and nature lovers. It may look like half dead stump in its dormant state, but once the rainy season starts, its bearing branch immediately comes back to life and prospers. To protect these trees from man-induced harm, their exact location is never revealed to the public.

3. Gran Abuelo

Located in the Alerce Costero National Park in Chile, this tree is considered as the oldest tree in South America. Researchers estimated its age was about 3,622 in 1993. It stands at 60 meters tall (196ft), but this took a very long time given only a millimeter is gained in its diameter every year.

4. Sarv-e Abarkuh

The exact age of the tree is hard to measure, but the estimation is somewhere between 4,000 to 5,000 years. It is seen as a national natural monument in Iran and thought by many as the oldest living thing in Asia. The tree stands at around 30 meters high (98ft) and has a width of 11.5 meters (38ft). Carrying both natural and cultural significance, it now becomes one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iran.

(Top image via VCG Photo)

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