Chile might be house to world’s oldest tree, research suggests

An Alerce (Fitzroya cupressoides) is pictured in a forest on the Alerce Costero Nationwide Park in Los Rios, Chile, April 29, 2018. Jonathan Barichivich/Handout by way of REUTERS

SANTIAGO: A lush inexperienced forest in southern Chile is perhaps house to the world’s oldest tree after a brand new research discovered that an historical alerce tree generally known as “nice grandfather” might be greater than 5,000 years outdated.

Scientists weren’t in a position to decide a precise age primarily based on tree rings due to the tree’s large trunk. Usually, a 1 meter (1.09 yards) cylinder of wooden is extracted to depend tree rings, however the nice grandfather’s trunk has a diameter of 4 meters.

Jonathan Barichivich, the scientist who led the research, stated the pattern they extracted and different courting strategies counsel the tree is as much as 5,484 years outdated.

“This methodology tells us that 80% of all potential development trajectories give us an age of this dwelling tree larger than 5,000 years,” Barichivich stated. “There’s solely a 20% probability that the tree is youthful.”

The estimated age would beat the present record-holder, a 4,853 yr outdated bristlecone pine tree in California, by greater than half a millennium.

“If one compares it with the timber already dated the place we depend all of the rings, it could make it one of many oldest dwelling timber on the planet,” Barichivich stated.

Whereas it survived quite a few eras of human civilization, Barichivich is anxious in regards to the tree’s prominence within the Alerce Costero Nationwide Park. Guests typically depart the commentary platform, step on the tree’s roots and even take items of its bark, he stated.

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He stated that comparable timber in america have their location hidden to stop comparable injury.

Barichivich stated he hoped individuals might “suppose for a fraction of a second about what it means to dwell 5,000 years,” and put their lives and the local weather disaster into perspective.