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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Treehugger Tuesday

From National Geographic:

Oldest European Tree Found—And It's Having a Growth Spurt

A Heldreich's pine discovered in southern Italy has been thriving in a remote part of a national park for 1,230 years.
 
By Sandrine Ceurstemont
Published May 25, 2018


Scientists determined the age of this 1,230-year-old Heldreich’s pine, nicknamed Italus, using a novel combination of tree-ring analysis and radiocarbon dating.
Photograph by Gianluca Piovesan

A craggy pine tree growing in southern Italy is 1,230 years old, making it the oldest tree in Europe that has been scientifically dated.

Moreover, the ancient pine seems to be living it up in its old age, researchers reported last week in the journal Ecology. Examinations show that the tree had a growth spurt in recent decades, where larger rings were added to its trunk even though many trees in the Mediterranean region have been experiencing a decline in growth.

The discovery shows that some trees can survive for centuries even when subjected to extreme changes in climate. This ancient pine, for example, would have germinated in a cold period during Medieval times and then lived through much warmer temperatures, including periods of drought. (Find out how scientists brought a 32,000-year-old plant back to life.)

See photos and read the entire article here

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