Scientists have found the (new) oldest tree in the world. It is a 16.4 feet tall spruce, found in Fulu Mountain in the Dalarna province of Sweden, that was carbon dated by Miami researchers to be 9,550 years old.
Under the crown they’ve also found four generations of spruce remains in the forms of cones and wood produced with the same genetic material, that date back 375, 5,660, 9,000 and 9,550 years.
Though spruce trees can create exact copies or clones of themselves multiplying with their root penetrating branches, so far scientists thought it wasn’t such a survivor.
Recent studies conducted in cooperation with the County Administrative Boards in Jämtland and Dalarna showed different and Leif Kullman, Professor of Physical Geography at Umea University, to declared “Our results have shown the complete opposite, that the spruce is one of the oldest known trees in the mountain range”.
The history behind this discovery, also revealed that the tree survived because of the generally cold and dry climate, few forest fires and very few humans. It also pointed out that the ice might have disappeared earlier than thought.
“My research indicates that spruces have spent winters in places west or southwest of Norway where the climate was not as harsh in order to later quickly spread northerly along the ice-free coastal strip. In some way they have also successfully found their way to the Swedish mountains,” Leif Kullman said.
Spruces are the species that can best give us insight about climate change.
Photo credits: Leif Kullman