What is the Oldest Living Tree Today?

Date: Fri, 29 Aug 1986 22:54:58 -0400
From: "Jason M. Jewell" 
To: jj68@NYU.EDU
Subject: arbor question...

Hey JJ:

Trying to find the phylogeny-genus of the oldest, living tree today and
where it might be found. Or to ask if you have already painted it?

Thanx for anything you might know...
                                Sincerely,

                                Jason M. Jewell


Here's a response sent in by Jeremy Williams of Australia:


Date: Fri, 04 Oct 1996 11:00:13 -0700
From: jeremy williams 
To: June@oznet02.ozemail.com.au, Julian@oznet02.ozemail.com.au,
    jj68@NYU.EDU
Subject: Oldest Tree

Greetings,
          I was interested to see your question, and was wondering if
you had received any information regarding the oldest living tree.
I have heard figures of 10000 years bandied about, but this was
from an unreliable source. (An anti-creationist argument.)
In my opinion, tree growth rings are the only source of reliable dating
of the past, and it would dissapoint me if it was found that 6000 years
was the upper limit of known tree ages. This would tend to support
biblical creationist views, of which I am not a supporter.
                Sincerely,
                          Jeremy Williams
                          Northern Territory
                          Australia

From Eric:
Date: Sat, 18 Jan 1997 00:48:34 -0500 (EST)
From: ZekeBnanza@aol.com
To: jj68@NYU.EDU
Subject: Oldest trees

  I thought the oldest known living organism and tree was a bristle cone
pine, named Methusala, in Inyo Nat'l Forest in California.  It has been dated
at over 4000 years old.  If you know of any older, I would appreciate any
information you could provide me on it.
Thanks,
Eric

Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998 14:52:12 -0800
From: Sandra Scott 
To: jj68@nyu.edu
Subject: old tree

Is this still a question... I thought the oldest known tree, still
living, is the Dragon Tree on Tenerife... as least it is advertized as
such... what is the answer?
ss

20,000 year old Huon Pine in Tasmania
Date: Fri, 12 Feb 1999 14:18:42 -0500
From: Marcia Nelson & Mike Pedde 
To: Jerome Hutin Koechlin 
> He plans to photograph the Huon pine in Tasmania, purported to be more
> than 10,000 years old
From: http://www.delm.tas.gov.au/pluc/partb_35.html

"The (Huon pine) species is generally dioecious, i.e. male and female cones are
borne on separate plants, and is also known to reproduce vegetatively. Research
has shown that
all the Huon Pine stems on Mt Read are sexually and genetically distinct. All
living tissue is male in gender and consists of one genotype, suggesting that
the Huon Pine stand consists of, or is derived from, one single individual
plant
which appears to have been present on the site for about 10 000 years. The one
hectare patch of Huon Pine consists of a dense tangle of roots, stems and
branches which apparently have spread by a process of layering. The Mt Read
stand is separated from the nearest population of Huon Pine by over 20
kilometres of mountainous terrain and seedling dispersal is unlikely over such
distances (Bacon and Peterson 1996). "
     In other words, the plants that exist today come from a root base believed to
be 10,000 years old.  There are no 10,000 year old trees, however.

From: http://www.tased.edu.au/tot/fauna/huon.html

"Several examples of Huon Pine in southern Tasmania are believed to be over
2,000 years old, making them one of the oldest living things in the world. The
Huon pine once existed in large numbers, but their unique qualities resulted in
many being felled. The felling of Huon pine is now restricted and reserves
exist along the Denison River where the Huon pine may grow freely. Natural felling
branches which apparently have spread by a process of layering. The Mt Read
stand is separated from the nearest population of Huon Pine by over 20
kilometres of mountainous terrain and seedling dispersal is unlikely over such
distances (Bacon and Peterson 1996). "
     In other words, the plants that exist today come from a root base believed to
be 10,000 years old.  There are no 10,000 year old trees, however.

From: http://www.tased.edu.au/tot/fauna/huon.html

"Several examples of Huon Pine in southern Tasmania are believed to be over
2,000 years old, making them one of the oldest living things in the world. The
Huon pine once existed in large numbers, but their unique qualities resulted in
many being felled. The felling of Huon pine is now restricted and reserves
exist along the Denison River where the Huon pine may grow freely. Natural felling
Just a couple of corrections.
Me.

Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 21:53:14 EST
From: Halterb@aol.com
To: jj68@nyu.edu
Subject: Old trees

I was interested in a couple of things. One, Jeremy's comments about
"creationism." Really, neither of the ages he mentions upsets or supports
"creationism." Some creationists place the start of things at 10,000 BC
(figuring Adam at 4004 and the "six days of creation" before that to be 6000
years ("a day is as a thousand years"). My view is that the Bible is speaking
of the creation of the Garden of Eden at 4004, and the real beginning would
 correspond exactly with science's data. But that's beside my main point.

There's a tree on Yakushima Island, Japan, said to be 7200 years ago, "by
carbon-14 dating." I've been trying to find out who did the dating, and how,
to no avail. Any ideas on authenticating this, or is it just a gimmick to draw
tourists? I can't see UNESCO supporting a fraud in their Heritage sites.

Regards,
B. Halter

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