While Seeking Climate Data, Scientists Found Europe’s Oldest Tree

Image: Oliver Konter. Roughly about the same time the Viking explorer Leif Erikson was born in Iceland, another life was beginning a continent away in what is now northern Greece. High in the Pindos Mountains, a Bosnian pine took root, and 1,075 years later a trio of scientists from Sweden, Germany, and the U.S. have pegged it as the oldest known tree in Europe. Other trees in Europe have larger numbers attached to them, such as the Llangernyw Yew in Wales or Scotland’s Fortingall Yew, which is thought to be around 2,000 to 3,000 years old. The catch is that most of these trees are yews, chestnuts, or clonal trees like them, which reproduce asexually when new shoots fuse with existing ones even after the main trunk dies. The shoots…


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