Meet the 9,550 year old tree

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A spruce tree found in Sweden –

[…] scientists found a cluster of about 20 trees that are 5,660, 9,000 and 9,550 years old. They used carbon dating on the cones and wood, found underneath its crown, and that showed that its root system had been growing for 9,550 years. Spruce trees grow by cloning so they produce exact copies. It was explained that “while any individual tree growing in the area would itself not be more than a few hundred years old, any tree found on site over the centuries would be generated from the same genetic root system. There is constant turnover in what is actually growing above ground but genetically, the trees growing today are the same as those from thousands of years ago.” A fence is being erected around the tree to protect it from trophy hunters.

– from Treehugger. And this from the BBC

The discovery of the tree has been surprising, because the spruce had until now been regarded as a relative newcomer in the region.

“Our results have shown the complete opposite, that the spruce is one of the oldest known trees in the mountain range,” Mr Kullmann said.

He explained that 10,000 years ago the spruce would have been extremely rare in the region and that it was conceivable Mesolithic humans might have imported the species as they migrated northwards with the receding ice cap.

The discovery also shows that it was much warmer in the region at the time than had been thought previously, perhaps even warmer than today, he added.

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