Europe's Oldest Living Tree Discovered
In northern Greece, a Bosnian pine has been dated at more than 1,000 years.
A Bosnian pine growing in the highlands of Northern Greece is the continent's oldest living tree at 1,075 years, say a group of international scientists.
The ancient pine was dated using tree rings, by extraction a core from the outside to the center of the tree.
The discovery was made by researchers from Stockholm University, the University of Mainz (in Germany) and the University of Arizona.
Scientists often use tree rings to examine Earth's climate history, which to some degree drove the find.
"Many years ago I read a thesis about this very interesting forest in Greece," said Paul J. Krusi from Stockholm University, in a press release. "I 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. "
With a nod to its Greek home, the tree was named Adonis after the god of beauty and desire.
"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," Krusic said. " Fortunately, this forest has been basically untouched for over a thousand years."
The tree is one of a dozen that are more than 1,000 years old, all found along a tree line in the Pindos mountains.
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