Scientists make stunning discovery of the oldest tree in a remote forest. Even though trees all over the world are being cut down due to agricultural practices and the effects of climate change, there is a magnificent tree that has managed to survive at Alerce Costero National Park in Chile.
This tree, which has been known as "Gran Abuelo" (which translates to "Great-Grandfather"), has survived for more than 5,000 years, making it older than the Methuselah Pine, which claims to be the oldest tree in the world at the moment, which is 4,850 years old.
Scientists are currently conducting measurements to determine the age of Gran Abuelo to ensure that it is officially recognized as the oldest living tree in the world. This serves to highlight the significance of maintaining such ancient natural treasures.
“It’s a survivor, there are no others that have had the opportunity to live so long,” saidAntonio Lara, one of the scientists working on determining the tree’s age. Prior to the discovery of Gran Abuelo in 1972 by a park ranger, the Patagonian cypress, also known as Fitzroya cupressoides, was a well-kept secret within Alerce Costero National Park. When it was first discovered, the actual site of the tree was kept secret, much like the method that was taken with the Methuselah Pine, to protect the tree.
Nevertheless, tourists are now allowed to start on a walk through the forest that lasts approximately one hour to take photographs alongside this extraordinary ancient marvel. In light of the significance of the tree, the National Park Service of Chile has increased the number of ranger patrols to guarantee that it will continue to be safeguarded.
Not only is Gran Abuelo appealing on an individual level, but it also has the potential to be explored scientifically. The study of this ancient tree, according to the researchers, has the potential to reveal insights into how species have evolved throughout millennia to changing climatic conditions.
“The ancient trees have genes and a very special history because they are symbols of resistance and adaptation. They are nature’s best athletes,” Jonathan Barichivich, one of the scientists studying the tree, said. “If these trees disappear, so too will they disappear, an important key to how life adapts to changes on the planet.”
“There are many other reasons that give value and sense to this tree and the need to protect it,” Lara said.
A nature photographer in British Columbia made a remarkable discovery in the realm of tree discoveries earlier this year when they came upon one of the largest old-growth cedars that has ever been documented. It is thought that this magnificent tree is over a thousand years old, and it has become the topic of a great deal of interest.
In the same way that the particular position of other venerable trees is being kept secret, the precise location of this ancient cedar is being kept secret, which highlights the commitment to its protection and preservation.