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.

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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.

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"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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