A Bosnian Pine is Europe’s millennial tree, surviving for no less than 1,074 years. The tree was discovered in Greece and it was named “Adonis”, after the Greek god of beauty and youth.
The tree started to grow in 941 AD, in the Pindus Mountains, and it’s surrounded by a forest that is almost as old as the millennial pine.
“It is quite remarkable that this large, complex and impressive organism has survived so long in such an inhospitable environment, in a land that has been civilized for over 3,000 years,” said Paul J. Krusic, a dendrochronologist at Stockholm University in Sweden.
The pine was discovered during a research trip organized by the Navarino Environmental Observatory. The purpose of the expedition was to analyze the rings of the trees to search for evidence of the area’s climate history.
In order to determine the exact age of the millennial tree, the researchers did a drill inside the trunk to reach as far as its heart, and then counted the tree rings. The color and length of the inner circles can also offer clues on the past climate.
Then, Adonis’s tree rings were compared with those from the neighboring forest, in order to be more accurate. The explanation is that sometimes a tree can skip a ring because of environmental conditions such as drought, and the comparison can help establish these events.
The results showed that Adonis had 1,075 years. The core of the tree was 3.3 feet wide. The age of the tree pointed to a moment in history when Vikings were still in Europe.
However, other trees in Europe are believed to be just as old, and maybe even older. One of them is the Llangernyw yew tree from Wales, which is estimated to have lived for over 3,000 years. Another one is the Kongeegen from the royal hunting forests from Denmark, believed to have between 1,500 and 2,000 years.
When looking on a global level, the oldest tree should be a bristlecone pine living in California in the White Mountains. The tree is believed to be more than 5,000 years old. The giant sequoias from the same state are thought to have around 3,500 years of age.
What is even more impressive, the scientists believe that a genetically identical colony of quaking aspen has an age of almost 80,000 years. The trees are located in Pando, Utah.
Image Source: Wikipedia