Europe's Oldest Living Inhabitant Is Adonis Tree

Posted: Aug 24 2016, 6:40am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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Europe's Oldest Living Inhabitant is Adonis Tree
Photo Credit: Dr Oliver Konter, Mainz for Stockholm University
  • Europe's Oldest Living Inhabitant is 1075 Years Old Adonis Tree

The most ancient of extant European trees has been termed Adonis. It stands majestically in its spot in Northern Greece.

Europe’s oldest tree has a suitable name. It is called Adonis. In the mountains of Northern Greece, this stately tree stands tall and serene. It is 1075 years old. Adonis happens to be a Bosnian Pine tree that was found by a group of scientists.

The announcement regarding this tree was made on Friday. Thus this tree is more than a millennium old. There are almost 12 other trees that are well over a 1000 years old and exist in the forest. The region is the Pindos Mountains.

”It is quite remarkable that this large, complex and impressive organism has survived so long in such an inhospitable environment, in a land that has been civilized for over 3000 years” says Swedish dendrochronologist, Paul J. Krusic, leader of the expedition that found the tree.

”Many years ago I read a thesis about this very interesting forest in Greece. In our research, we try to build long chronologies to construct climate histories, so finding living trees of old age is one of our motivations. To age the tree, we needed to take a core of wood, from the outside to the center. The core is one meter and has 1075 annual rings” says Krusic.

A sample of its wood was obtained by the experts and then the annual rings were counted. This confirmed the fact that it was the most ancient of trees in all of Europe.

However, it is still many years younger than the oldest tree in the world. This honor goes to a bristlecone pine in the White Mountains of California. This one is really old (5000 years to be exact).

Nevertheless, Adonis has also seen a lot of the brutality of history. The Byzantine Empire and the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire both took place during its reign in the region.

Macbeth and Isaac Newton were doing their stuff during the time this tree was still young. The survival of the species is a miracle in terms of the chaos that surrounded the region.

Via a study of the annual growth rings, the scientists will determine what the climatic conditions were during the time this tree was in its evolutionary stages. The Vikings probably lived during the time period of this tree too.

The inhospitable atmosphere that remained in place during the life of this tree may have ensured that it never grew into a stately and majestic member of the plant kingdom.

Yet such is life that it finds a way despite the toughest of circumstances. The region was known for its civilization and the ensuing chaos that it underwent as the civilization declined would surely have decimated this tree.

Still it remained intact through sheer chance or luck. It has been named Adonis after the Greek pagan god of beauty and attraction. It is in short a marvel of the natural world.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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