living things on earth. Their lives can span centuries – or in some cases, millennia. Many of the oldest trees on the planet have seen countless wars, uprisings, and other significant historical events. The 10 oldest trees on earth are:
#1 Old Tjikko
Old Tjikko is a Norwegian spruce, which is thought to be the world’s oldest individual tree at 9550 years old. Spruces are clonal, and can multiply through suckers. This involves new shoots coming off an old root system, creating multiple trees which share the same genetic make-up. Although Old Tjikko itself is relatively young, the root system has been around for close to 10,000 years¹!!
#2 The Pando (“Trembling Giant”)
Although not technically one single tree, the Pando is reputed to be over 80,000 years old. Located in the Fishlake National Forest in Utah, it is made up of 40,000 genetically identical quaking aspen. Although none of the individuals take the title of the oldest tree on earth (probably), the fact that their genetics have remained unchanged for an incredible 80 millennia gets them a spot on this list¹.
#3 Old Hara
The oldest known non-clonal tree in the world is a bristlecone pine (longaeva) located in the White Mountains of California. It is estimated to be around 5062 years old, and was only discovered in 2013¹.
Until 2013 another bristlecone pine named Methuselah was the oldest known tree on earth. It is also found in the White Mountains, and is estimated to be around 4845 years old. The location of Methuselah is kept a closely guarded secret, which scientists hope will keep it safe from harm².
A giant Yew tree located in Wales, Llangernyw is thought to be about 4000 years old. It is found in a churchyard in the North of the country, and has survived countless different periods of history².
#6 Zoroastrian Sarv
This ancient cypress tree is found in central Iran. It is ancient enough to have been named an Iranian National Monument. Estimated to be around 4000 years old, it is closely guarded to prevent harm².
#7 Gran Abuelo
This colossal Patagonian Cyprus tree can be found in Los Rios, Chile. It is a member of a species which has been used extensively for timber used in construction and tool fabrication. It is incredible that it has stood for as long as it has, especially considering the history of the country³.
#8 Huon Pines
Another clonal species, some of the Huon Pines found in Mount Read, Tasmania, are estimated to be at least 3000 years old. The genetic make-up and root system of the organism is thought to be around 10,000 years old, making it Australia’s oldest living thing³.
#9 Oliveira do Mouchão
Did you know that olive trees can live for 3350 years? This ancient specimen found in Portugal is proof that they can! Imagine: it has been a food source for people throughout colonial times, the Roman empire, and was over a thousand years old when Jesus was born⁴!
#10 The President
Found in the Giant Forest in the Sequoia National Park in the USA, the President is a giant sequoia which is estimated to be around 3200 years old. It is the third largest living tree in the world, with a height of 75 meters and a diameter of 8.2 meters. It is truly a giant of the plant world⁵!