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Ranking of the longest-lived trees in the world

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Martí Micolau
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Did you know that trees are an incredible source of information on the history of our planet? From the age of a tree we can obtain information on the earth's climate and our history. But calculate age of these magnificent living beings is not easy and, often, parallel techniques exist in different nations. The most common method is that which studies the rings present in the trunk of the tree: each ring is equivalent to one year of life. An old tree is not only a witness to itself, but also, therefore, very useful information for science. Pieces of history that are really worth visiting. Here is a surprise ranking of the oldest trees in the world.



15 - Bennet Juniper, 2200 years old

At the foot of our catalog we find a huge conifer. Our millennial tree is part of the 'Western' species and is considered the oldest and largest of its kind in the world. In the United States this type of shrub is so widespread that there are different types.

  • Location: Sierra Nevada, California, USA
  • Species: Juniperus Occidentalis

14 - Evergreen Sequoia, up to 2300 years old

More than one tree in particular, we find here a kind of sequoias which, compared to the others, stands out for its longevity. One of its oldest specimens is the Coast Redwood, with its 2200 years of life! Equally well known is the General Sherman, whose dating should exceed 2300 years. They are typical trees of California and have a pyramid shape. Depending on the type, they can reach 120-140 meters in height and they lend themselves easily to being planted also in Europe as a forest plant.



  • Location: Northern California, USA
  • Species: Sequoia sempervirens

13 - Jara Sri Maha Bodhi, 2302 years old

Planted in 288 a. C., this fig, for the local people, is one sacred plant very important! It is in fact the direct descendant of the tree that has seen the spiritual enlightenment of Buddha. It has been classified as the oldest tree planted by man. An effective example of what man can do for nature and the environment.

  • Where is it: Sri Lanka
  • Species: Ficus Religiosa

12 - The Rocky Mountain Pine, 2459 years old

Here is another species that resists the passage of time better! These are medium-tall pine specimens, typical of areas of Colorado and New Mexico but also Arizona.The Rocky Mountain specimen he is 2459 years old! In fact, it lives in cold and dry climatic conditions at very high altitudes. We can find these beautiful pines on segments of rocky land, where tree species end up.

  • Location: Central Colorado, USA
  • Species: Pinus Aristata

11 - Oliveira De Santa Iria De Azòira, 2850 years old

The could not miss the mythical European olive tree. Our Portuguese example it branches into two very solid branches, offering a suggestive effect. It is thought that it originates from an ancient olive grove, planted before the area was urbanized. It is a typical species of the Mediterranean basin, but we can also meet specimens along the Arabian peninsula and as far as southern China. As we well know, they are not trees that grow in height. It is the majesty of the trunk that characterizes them. Always peace symbol,but also of strength,faith and longevity. Starting from sacred writing, up to the Christian religion, passing through Homer, this tree has always represented the wisdom and industriousness of man.



  • Where it is located: Loures, Portugal
  • Species: Olea Europaea

10 - Patriarch of the Forest, 3000 years old

Also this species of Cariniana possesses numerous ancient specimens on Earth. But the grandeur of the 'Patriarch'is already evident from the name that his devoted scholars have chosen for him. It is a species of woody plant that lives in tropical areas of Brazil, Venezuela and even Madagascar. Due to its natural composition, this species is exploited to obtain very resistant wood material. It is increasingly difficult to find long-lived specimens, due to the phenomenon of deforestation which, especially in Brazil, has passed the point of no return.

  • Where is it: Santa Rita do Passa Quatro, Brazil
  • Species: Legalis Cariniana

9 - Chestnut of the 100 Horses, more than 3000 years old

Among the oldest species on the planet is that of the chestnut! Among its living specimens, we find an illustrious millennial, located right in Italy, precisely in the municipality of Sant'Alfio in the province of Catania (Sicily). The Chestnut of the Hundred Horses, according to estimates, would be between 3000 and 3500 years old!
It is known for being one of the largest trees in the world (mentioned several times in the Guinness World Record book) and its name originates from a legend according to which a queen passing through Sant'Alfio took shelter under its branches together with her army of 100 knights.


  • Where is it: Sant'Alfio (CT), Sicily, Italy
  • Species: Castanea sativa

8 - Grand Abuelo, 3646 years old

This wonderful cypress is kept inside the Alerce Costero National Park. It owns a circumference of 5 meters but its height is from guinness: 70 meters separate the ground from the top of the tree. It belongs to the Patagonian cypress family, which is the largest species in South America. In short, not just a question of age. Its species name was coined in honor of the British commander Robert Fritzroy, which hosted Charles Darwin during his expedition to the Americas. Experience that would then lead the scientist to formulate his famous theses on the origin of the species.


  • Where it is: Cordillera Pedala, Los Rios, Chile
  • Species: Cupressoides Fitzroya

7 - S'ozzastru, 3000 - 4000 years

The patriarch of the millenary olive trees of all Europe. As well as the oldest tree in Italy. The name, translated from the Sardinian dialect, means 'Olivastro', due to the typical color of its leaves. His health has been guaranteed ever since, in 1991, he was declared a natural monument. At its side, a few meters away, we find the younger brother,just 2000 years old. The guided tour offered by a group of local young people who work to invest in the area is interesting.

  • Where is it: Luras, Sardinia, Italy
  • Species: Olea Europaea

6 - Sarv-e Abarqu, 4000 years old

With a height of 25 meters and a circumference of 18 meters additional structure, this cypress is one of the main tourist attractions in the area. We are faced with a majestic specimen not only for its size but above all for its longevity: it is estimated that it is the second oldest tree in all of Asia. Not for nothing is it protected by the Iranian organization for cultural heritage. A true basin of natural history!

  • Where is it: Ubarqu, Yazd, Iran
  • Species: Cupressus Sempervirens

5 - Zonguldak badger, 4112 years old

Many of the longest-lived rates can be found in Northern Turkey. In particular, the rate of the Zonguldak dates back to the Bronze Age and takes its name from the Turkish province in which it is located. It was discovered by the director of the conservation department of Turkish natural parks, Sezgin Õrmeci, who wanted to make the area around the specimen (150 hectares) a national monument.

  • Location: Zonguldak, Turkey
  • Species: Taxus Baccata

4 - Llangernnyw Yew, 4000 - 5000 years old

  • Location: Conwy, North Wales
  • Species: Taxus Baccata

The first rate in our ranking has a circumference of 10,75 meters at ground level. It is one of the 50 most important trees in Great Britain. It is located near the village from which it takes its name and thanks to its presence the influx of tourists is assured. Its fame is also due to a legend: it tells of a spirit that on Halloween night wanders under the branches of the tree announcing the names of the inhabitants who will die within the year.

3 - Prometeus, 4844 years old

In 1964, when its longevity and historical importance had not yet been detected, a researcher of the United States Forest Service put an end to the long life of the tree cutting the trunk. Discovering the sad truth, it was decided to give the specimen a name that remembered it. He chose himself Prometheus,he who stole fire from the gods as a gift to men.

  • Where it is: Wheleer Peak, Nevada, USA
  • Species: Pinus Longaeva

2 - Methuselah, 4848 years old

The name of the species of this tree itself makes us understand the importance and longevity of the specimens that belong to it. We can visit this extraordinary pine within the Californian National Forest, at an altitude of 3.000 meters. Until 2012 held the gold medal as the oldest tree in the world, when a group of scholars discovered another pine that could boast an even more important history.

  • Location: Inyo County, California, USA
  • Species: Pinus Longaeva

1 - Great Basin Bristlecone Pino, 5066 years old

This type of tree wins the title of longest-lived species in the world. It is located at an altitude of almost 3.000 meters on the famous Californian mountains. It was discovered by Edmund Shulman, a New York scholar who has devoted his entire life to researching the oldest living trees on our planet. Of the tree it is not only surprising that it does not show its age at all, but also the bright yellow-orange color, the deep cracks in the bark and the gnarled appearance of its large branches, typical of high altitude trees.

  • Location: White Mountains, California, USA
  • Species: Pinus Longaeva
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