Wednesday, April 16, 2008

World's Oldest Living Tree Discovered in Sweden

Swamp Thing © DC Comics
The world's oldest recorded tree is a 9,550 year old spruce in the Dalarna province of Sweden
From the press release:

The spruce tree has shown to be a tenacious survivor that has endured by growing between erect trees and smaller bushes in pace with the dramatic climate changes over time.

A fascinating discovery was made under the crown of a spruce in Fulu Mountain in Dalarna. Scientists found four “generations” of spruce remains in the form of cones and wood produced from the highest grounds.

The discovery showed trees of 375, 5,660, 9,000 and 9,550 years old and everything displayed clear signs that they have the same genetic makeup as the trees above them. Since spruce trees can multiply with root penetrating braches, they can produce exact copies, or clones.

The tree now growing above the finding place and the wood pieces dating 9,550 years have the same genetic material. The actual has been tested by carbon-14 dating at a laboratory in Miami, Florida, USA. Previously, pine trees in North America have been cited as the oldest at 4,000 to 5,000 years old.