(Greece) – Scientists have discovered a Bosnian pine tree in the highlands of Greece that is 1075 years old, which makes it Europe’s oldest living tree. The team of scientists and dendrochronologists from the University of Arizona, University of Mainz, and Stockholm University discovered the tree’s age after taking samples and counting the rings.
Doctor Paul Krusic, the team leader who is from Stockholm University, said that, “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. It is one of more than a dozen individuals of millennial age, living in a treeline forest high in the Pindos Mountains.
The team originally found the site in an effort to locate older trees so that they could conduct climate research. By analyzing the rings, scientists can determine the conditions of the atmosphere in any given age. He said that “In our research, we try to build long chronologies to construct climate histories, so finding living trees of old age is one of our motivations.”
Because of the majesty and beauty of the tree, the team thought it was fitting to name it, “Adonis” after the Greek mythological figure who was thought to be extremely handsome. To find Adonis’ age, they used a process called “coring”, which takes a small sample of the tree with the goal of counting the rings. He said that, “To age the tree, we needed to take a core of wood, from the outside to the center. The core of Adonis is 3.3 feet (1 m) and has 1,075 annual rings.” That means that the tree is 1075 years old.
Interestingly enough, Adonis isn’t the only Bosnian pine tree in the area that is at least 1000 years old. There are others. Doctor Krusic also said that, “am impressed, in the context of western civilization, all the human history that has surrounded this tree; all the empires, the Byzantine, the Ottoman, all the people living in this region.”