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World's oldest living tree discovered in Sweden
Date:4/16/2008

The worlds oldest recorded tree is a 9,550 year old spruce in the Dalarna province of Sweden.

The spruce tree has shown to be a tenacious survivor that has endured by growing between erect trees and smaller bushes in pace with the dramatic climate changes over time.

For many years the spruce tree has been regarded as a relative newcomer in the Swedish mountain region.

Our results have shown the complete opposite, that the spruce is one of the oldest known trees in the mountain range, says Leif Kullman, Professor of Physical Geography at Ume University.

A fascinating discovery was made under the crown of a spruce in Fulu Mountain in Dalarna. Scientists found four generations of spruce remains in the form of cones and wood produced from the highest grounds.

The discovery showed trees of 375, 5,660, 9,000 and 9,550 years old and everything displayed clear signs that they have the same genetic makeup as the trees above them. Since spruce trees can multiply with root penetrating braches, they can produce exact copies, or clones.

The tree now growing above the finding place and the wood pieces dating 9,550 years have the same genetic material. The actual has been tested by carbon-14 dating at a laboratory in Miami, Florida, USA.

Previously, pine trees in North America have been cited as the oldest at 4,000 to 5,000 years old.

In the Swedish mountains, from Lapland in the North to Dalarna in the South, scientists have found a cluster of around 20 spruces that are over 8,000 years old.

Although summers have been colder over the past 10,000 years, these trees have survived harsh weather conditions due to their ability to push out another trunk as the other one died.

The average increase in temperature during the summers over the past hundred years has risen one degree in the mountain areas, explains Leif Kullman.

Therefore, we can now see that these spruces ha
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Contact: Karin Wikman
karin.wikman@adm.umu.se
Swedish Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

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