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Ancient Tree (Almost) Older Than Dirt [ 5,000 to 30,000 years old ]
Discovery ^ | Wednesday, December 23, 2009 | Michael Reilly

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 ...


TOPICS: History; Science; Travel
KEYWORDS: california; creation; dendrochronology; evolution; godsgravesglyphs; oak; palmersoak; quercuspalmeri; treeringcircus; trees
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 ]

Ancient Tree (Almost) Older Than Dirt

1 posted on 12/23/2009 6:46:10 PM PST by SunkenCiv
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To: StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; 31R1O; ...

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2 posted on 12/23/2009 6:46:26 PM PST by SunkenCiv (My Sunday Feeling is that Nothing is easy. Goes for the rest of the week too.)
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To: SunkenCiv

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.,


3 posted on 12/23/2009 6:51:50 PM PST by hellbender
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To: SunkenCiv

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.


4 posted on 12/23/2009 6:55:57 PM PST by hellbender
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To: SunkenCiv
That's a baby. Where I come from there are Redwoods that were growing when Christ walked this earth. Some 30 to 40 feet diameter.
5 posted on 12/23/2009 6:57:06 PM PST by fish hawk (It's sad that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom. Isaac Asimov)
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To: hellbender

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.


6 posted on 12/23/2009 6:58:11 PM PST by Freedom4US
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To: SunkenCiv
Ancient Tree (Almost) Older Than Dirt

 

Aww, never mind....

7 posted on 12/23/2009 6:59:24 PM PST by mikrofon (Merry Christmas Everyone!)
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To: Freedom4US

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.


8 posted on 12/23/2009 7:05:11 PM PST by hellbender
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To: SunkenCiv
"Getting a handle on how old these organisms are is hard; most estimates are based on growth rates," which can have large errors, team member Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra also of the University of California, Davis said.

Since they don't know how old the tree is, all they have to do is cut it down and count the rings.

9 posted on 12/23/2009 7:05:23 PM PST by stripes1776 ("That if gold rust, what shall iron do?" --Chaucer)
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To: SunkenCiv
Just a guess, age degraded telomeres caused sterility from the original organism but shoots from the rhizome or root system survived. They are the same plant not really clones.
10 posted on 12/23/2009 7:09:22 PM PST by BIGLOOK (Keelhaul Congress!)
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To: hellbender

Well, a tree is non-motile? I mean by that the oldest extant thing that isn’t cloning itself? Hm.. my head hurts.


11 posted on 12/23/2009 7:13:42 PM PST by Freedom4US
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To: stripes1776

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.


12 posted on 12/23/2009 7:20:31 PM PST by Freedom4US
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To: SunkenCiv

nope ...Bible says we around 6000 years old~ believe God can’t go wrong


13 posted on 12/23/2009 7:27:20 PM PST by FreeperFlirt
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To: Freedom4US

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.


14 posted on 12/23/2009 7:28:10 PM PST by hellbender
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To: FreeperFlirt

James Ussher calculated that we are around 6,000 years old. The question is whether Bishop Ussher could go wrong.


15 posted on 12/23/2009 7:40:13 PM PST by Pelham (ObamaCare, it comes with a toe tag)
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To: Freedom4US
But I think the oldest living thing, so far, would be the bristlecone pine found in Nevada and California. Right up there anyway.

That is correct. Just up the hill from me.

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16 posted on 12/23/2009 7:40:31 PM PST by Inyo-Mono (Had God not driven man from the Garden of Eden the Sierra Club surely would have.)
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To: Inyo-Mono

That bristle cone pine looks like how I feel these days. OMG/WTF? (It’s on my rear bumper.) :•)


17 posted on 12/23/2009 8:02:34 PM PST by Misterioso (Common sense is a simple and non-self-conscious use of logic. -- Ayn Rand)
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To: Misterioso

LOL! I hear you!


18 posted on 12/23/2009 8:32:28 PM PST by Inyo-Mono (Had God not driven man from the Garden of Eden the Sierra Club surely would have.)
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To: Pelham

yes he can, but God can’t can he?


19 posted on 12/23/2009 9:03:46 PM PST by FreeperFlirt
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To: SunkenCiv

BTW:

Don’t termites emit something like a million times as much methane as human-raised cattle?


20 posted on 12/23/2009 9:30:50 PM PST by Arthur McGowan (In Edward Kennedy's America, federal funding of brothels is a right, not a privilege.)
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To: mikrofon

hahaha...struck me funny


21 posted on 12/23/2009 10:45:01 PM PST by americanophile (Merry Christmas!)
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To: Pelham

...hardly a question at all.


22 posted on 12/23/2009 10:47:05 PM PST by americanophile (Merry Christmas!)
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To: Pelham
James Ussher calculated that we are around 6,000 years old. The question is whether Bishop Ussher could go wrong.

As the Bishop was an official in a church that persecuted some of my ancestors, I've never been inclined to take his writings as holy scripture.

23 posted on 12/28/2009 12:59:18 PM PST by colorado tanker (What's it all about, Barrrrry? Is it just for the power, you live?)
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To: SunkenCiv
This is in Riverside County. The Jurupa Mountains are more like hills.
24 posted on 12/28/2009 1:06:41 PM PST by colorado tanker (What's it all about, Barrrrry? Is it just for the power, you live?)
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To: colorado tanker

I think Taco Bell had something to do with the Jurupa mtns, but my memory is clouded by fatigue.


25 posted on 12/28/2009 6:47:57 PM PST by SunkenCiv (My Sunday Feeling is that Nothing is easy. Goes for the rest of the week too.)
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