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 learn about the earth’s climate and our history. But calculating the age of these magnificent living beings is not easy and, often, parallel techniques exist in different countries. The most common method is the one that 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, of very useful information for science. Pieces of history that are really worth a visit. Here is a surprising ranking of the oldest trees in the world .

15 – Bennet Juniper, 2200 years old
Photo by Dave Bunnell. 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
More than a particular tree, we find here a species 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 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 can easily be planted also in Europe as a forest plant.

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

13 – Jara Sri Maha Bodhi, 2302
Photo by Nipuna Gamage. Planted in 288 a. C., this fig, for the local people, is a very important sacred plant ! It is indeed the direct descendant of the tree that saw Buddha ‘s spiritual enlightenment . 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
Here is another species that resists the passage of time better! These are medium-high pine specimens, typical of the areas of Colorado and New Mexico but also of Arizona. The Rocky Mountain specimen 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 Azoira, 2850 years The mythical European olive tree
could not be missing . Our Portuguese specimen 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. And the majesty of the trunk to characterize them. Always a symbol of peace , 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
This species of Cariniana also 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 the tropical areas of Brazil, Venezuela and even Madagascar. Due to its natural composition, this species is exploited to obtain very resistant wooden 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 it is located: Santa Rita do Passa Quatro, Brazil
  • Species: Legalis Cariniana

9 – Chestnut of the 100 Horses, more than 3000 years old
Source: wikimedia commons. Among the most ancient species on the planet there is that of chestnuts ! 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 have an age between 3000 and 3500 years!
It is known to be 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 takes shelter under its branches together with her army made up of 100 knights.

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

8 – Gran Abuelo, 3646 years old
This wonderful cypress is kept inside the Alerce Costero National Park. It has a circumference of 5 meters but its height is 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. His species name was coined in honor of the British commander Robert Fritzroy , who hosted Charles Darwin on 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
  • Specie: Cupressoides Fitzroya

7 – S’ozzastru, 3000 – 4000 years old
Photo by Gianni Careddu. The patriarch of millenary olive trees throughout 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. Its health has been guaranteed since it was declared a natural monument in 1991 . Next to him, a few meters away, we find his 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
Photo by TruthBeethoven. With a height of 25 meters and an additional structure circumference of 18 meters , 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 cultural heritage organization. A true basin of natural history!

  • Where it is found: Ubarqu, Yazd, Iran
  • Species: Cypress

5 – Zonguldak rate, 4112 years
Many of the longest-lived rates can be found in Northern Turkey. In particular, the Zonguldak badger 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 Ormeci, who wanted to make the area around the specimen (150 hectares) a national monument.

  • Location: Zonguldak, Turkey
  • Specie: Taxus Baccata

4 – Llangernnyw Yew, 4000 – 5000 anni

  • Location: Conwy, North Wales
  • Specie: 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 tourist presences 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 revealed, a researcher from the United States Forest Service put an end to the long life of the tree .cutting the trunk. Discovering the sad truth, she chose to give the specimen a name that remembered it. Prometheus was chosen , he who steals fire from the Gods to give it to men.

  • Location: Wheleer Peak, Nevada, USA
  • Species: Pinus Longaeva

2 – Methuselah, 4848 years old
Photo by Oke. 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 it held the gold medal for 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 Pine, 5066 years
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 in the famous Californian mountains . It was discovered by Edmund Shulman, a New York scholar who has dedicated his entire life to researching the oldest living trees on our planet. What is surprising about the tree is not only the fact 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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