Europe’s Oldest Living Resident Is This Pine Tree in Greece

Shaunacy Ferro
Courtesy Oliver Konter // Mainz
Courtesy Oliver Konter // Mainz / Courtesy Oliver Konter // Mainz

Researchers have tracked down Europe’s oldest resident, and no, it's not the Queen. A Bosnian pine tree found in a forest in Greece has been alive for more than a millennium, the BBC reports. 

A team of researchers from Stockholm University, the University of Mainz in Germany, and the University of Arizona found the 1075-year-old Pinus heldreichii in the Pindos mountains in northern Greece. They took a core sample from the outside of the tree to its center—a full meter, in this case—and counted 1075 annual rings, meaning this specimen was a seedling during the height of Viking exploration. They named the ancient plant Adonis. 

The tree edges out a group of ancient oak trees discovered earlier this year in Britain, which date back nearly 1000 years. And while Adonis may be Europe’s oldest living plant, there are much older living things throughout the rest of the world. A California bristlecone pine tree dates back almost 5000 years. The root system of one Swedish tree found in 2008 is some 9550 years old, though the visible section of the tree is much newer

[h/t BBC]

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