‘Adonis’ is Europe’s oldest tree with an age of 1,075 years

Brittany A. Roston - Aug 22, 2016, 5:00pm CDT
‘Adonis’ is Europe’s oldest tree with an age of 1,075 years

Europe’s oldest living tree is located in northern Greece and is, according to a team of researchers, more than 1,075 years old. Dubbed ‘Adonis,’ the tree is of the Bosnian pine variety, and it has recently been dated using dendrochronology — the science of analyzing tree rings. Using this data and the data of similarly old trees could help scientists understand the climate and related history of the region, as well as the effect those changes have on the trees.

The work was performed by taking a core sample of the wood, and involved researchers with the University of Mainz in Germany, the University of Arizona, and Sweden’s Stockholm University. Though there are a dozen or so other old trees dated at more than a thousand years old in this particular forest, Adonis is currently known to be the oldest with 1,075 rings.

The tree’s survival is remarkable for a number of reasons, not the least of which is its location — the tree is in a spot described as being less than hospitable, with the image above showing the high level of exposure and rocky landscape.

As well, the tree has ‘seen’ many big milestones for humanity and has managed to avoid destruction at human hands for hundreds of years. To put it in perspective, Adonis would have been an infantile seedling in the year 941, continuing to slowly grow as empires were established and destroyed, discoveries were made, and wars were waged.

SOURCE: National Geographic


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