Skip to comments.Ancient Tree (Almost) Older Than Dirt [ 5,000 to 30,000 years old ]
Posted on 12/23/2009 6:46:09 PM PST by SunkenCiv
The entire grove of trunks is in fact one plant, a newly discovered Palmer's oak (Quercus palmeri) that researchers estimate is over 13,000 years old, making it one of the oldest plants on Earth... none of its 70 stems get more than a few feet tall, and it grows in a boulder pile that doubles as shelter from the area's buffeting winds. At first glance, the scientists thought it was an isolated grove of trees, but something didn't add up: None of them produced fertile acorns, so the plants couldn't reproduce... Genetic analysis confirmed their suspicion. Each of the 70 stems are genetically identical; they are the same plant, currently growing in an oval 25 yards long and 8 yards wide... Scientists estimate an Aspen stand in Utah, called Pando, may be tens of thousands of years old, though estimates vary widely. And a creosote bush growing in the Mojave Desert -- dubbed King Clone -- has been reliably dated at nearly 12,000 years old using carbon isotopes... The team estimated that the newly discovered oak, which they named the Jurupa Oak after the mountains in which it grows, started from a central trunk and grew outward at a rate of one-twentieth of an inch each year, relying on fire to burn down stems and trigger the plant to send out new sprouts... But any trace of ancient wood has been lost to termites, so they team is left with a guess. It could be anywhere from 5,000 to 30,000 years old, Ross-Ibarra said, dating to a time when the Jurupa Mountains were cooler and wetter, and Palmer's oaks were prevalent.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.discovery.com ...
This ancient tree, which researchers named the Jurupa Oak after the mountains in which it grows, may be the oldest plant living in California. [ Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra ]
To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo · Google ·
· The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·
Hmm. There is a large colony of blueberry bushes in N. PA which is like this. I.e. all the plants are genetically identical; they are all one big clone.,
I think there’s something like this in Washington, DC. A colony of organisms which continues to grow despite changes in the party controlling the White House and Congress. They infect any organism sent to DC by the electorate, and take over their body and brain.
Yes, but it’s not the same tree, itself. Box huckleberry does the same thing, and crustose lichens that one can see on boulders, in excess of a certain size are older ‘n hell, too.
But I think the oldest living thing, so far, would be the bristlecone pine found in Nevada and California. Right up there anyway.
Aww, never mind....
I’m not sure. The bushes in N. PA all grew by vegetative spreading, IIRC. And I’ve never been sure what the difference is between blueberries and huckleberries. although I used to pick both and knew the difference in the taste and seediness of the fruit.
Since they don't know how old the tree is, all they have to do is cut it down and count the rings.
Well, a tree is non-motile? I mean by that the oldest extant thing that isn’t cloning itself? Hm.. my head hurts.
Yup, good ole WPN-114. Up until the drill bit broke, it was the oldest tree known. So they cut it down, because swedish drill bits don’t grow on trees. Ha ha.
nope ...Bible says we around 6000 years old~ believe God can’t go wrong
Plants are really cool. They don’t limit themselves to sexual reproduction...”not that there’s anything wrong with that.” I’ve had fun dividing a clump of irises and transplanting the offshoots, creating a whole border from a single original plant. Daylilies are also good at this.
James Ussher calculated that we are around 6,000 years old. The question is whether Bishop Ussher could go wrong.
That is correct. Just up the hill from me.
That bristle cone pine looks like how I feel these days. OMG/WTF? (It’s on my rear bumper.) :)
LOL! I hear you!
yes he can, but God can’t can he?
Don’t termites emit something like a million times as much methane as human-raised cattle?
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