Unless you’ve ever planted a sapling and watched it sprout up, you might sometimes forget how long it takes for a tree to grow. It can take decades for it to mature and centuries before it reaches the end of its life. Some of the Earth’s oldest trees have been around for thousands of years, and they truly are something to marvel at.
Llangernyw Yew, Wales
The pyramids are considered some of the greatest monuments in the world. However, it seems that not long after they were built, another remarkable landmark was getting its start. Llangernyw Yew in North Wales started sprouting some 4,000 years ago, with the tree still standing proud and tall today. If you want a glimpse of it, you can find it easily enough at St. Digain’s Church in Llangernyw.
Fitzroya Cupressoides, Chile
Some of the world’s oldest trees have simply made it this far by chance. Others have stayed the course for thousands of years because it’s just what their species does. That seems to be how it is with fitzroya cupressoides in the Andes Mountains. These trees naturally have a long life span, so it’s probably no surprise that they’ve been around a while. Scientists have been keeping track of them for the last few centuries, with one tree reportedly of particular interest. This one has apparently been around for 3,600 years.
Somewhere in California’s White Mountains exists Methuselah, a bristlecone pine tree supposedly close to 5,000 years old. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to tell you the exact location of this tree because the Forest Service won’t share the information. They want to protect it, which is understandable, given its age. They’re particularly cautious after an even older tree was felled in the ‘60s when a scientist didn’t realize its age.
The Tree of One Hundred Horses, Sicily
It’s unclear exactly how old Sicily’s Tree of One Hundred Horses is. Projections put it anywhere between 2,000 and 4,000 years old, which is a pretty significant gap. Regardless of specifics, though, it’s still easily one of the planet’s oldest trees. Its name originates from a legend where a hundred nights sought refuge from a storm under its large canopy. Moreover, while it might not be the oldest tree, it is the girthiest – its circumference is 190 feet.
Old Tjikko, Sweden
The last ice age is something that might be hard to comprehend, given the world is far from frozen over. However, that’s not the case for one tree in Sweden, which sprouted while the event was still ongoing. Old Tjikko is believed to be around 9,550 years old, with the 16-foot Norway spruce now the oldest tree in existence. You’ll find it by visiting the Dalarna province, with the name coming courtesy of Leif Kullman. After the geologist discovered the tree, he gave it the name of his recently departed dog.
It’s amazing to think how much has changed in the world since these trees first sprouted. The stories these trees would tell, if only they could talk.