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Europe's Oldest Tree

 Europe’s oldest living tree has been living for more than a millennium.  The tree has been growing since the Viking Age.  It is a Bosnian Pine Tree located in the Pindus mountains of Greece.  It is dated to be more than 1,075 years old.  The scientists that discovered the tree nicknamed it “Adonis;” Adonis was the god of beauty, youth, and desire in ancient Greek mythology.  The tree has been growing since 941 A.D.  That was when the Vikings were still there and when the Byzantine Empire was at the top.  It lives in an intact forest with other ancient trees which are close to the same age.  The tree was first discovered by the Navarino Environmental Observatory (NEO) while on a research trip.  The NEO were analyzing rings to figure out the region’s past climate.  To determine the true age of the tree, the researchers drilled a core from the heart to the outside of the tree and counted the tree rings; tree rings alternate by season.  The process did not do any harm to the tree.  The cores of the trees are around 5 mm in diameter.  The researchers compared the rings of the Pine tree to the other trees in the forest.  The color and thickness of the rings determine the historical climate.  Paul J. Krusic, a dendrochronologist at Stockholm University said, “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 3,000 years.”  If I ever saw this tree, I wouldn’t think that it would be as old as it really is.






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