Ancient trees are some of the most impressive structures in nature. They have been around for centuries and their age makes them one of the oldest living things on earth. There are many theories about what they were used for, but it seems that no one really knows yet. Some say that they were used as decorations or even as a source of fuel. However, there are other theories which suggest that ancient trees may have played an important role in the creation of life itself.
The oldest known trees are those found in Australia and New Guinea (Australia) and the Philippines (Philippines). These two places seem to be the only ones where these types of trees exist today.
Other than these two areas, there are no other examples of such plants anywhere else on earth.
There are several theories about why these trees existed at different times. One theory suggests that they were created during the great flood when all the land was submerged under water.
Another theory says that they grew from seeds that fell into rivers and lakes. Still another idea is that they came from space and landed on earth after an asteroid hit earth causing an extinction event. All these ideas are interesting, but none of them really explain how these trees survived until now!
This is the most fascinating part of the story. The trees that are around today are very much alive and have survived since long before humans even walked the earth!
Whether it was the great flood, asteroid strikes or anything else, nothing has been able to kill these living trees. Not even time itself has been able to take them down and they still stand tall even today!
There are many types of ancient trees and some of them are:
Coast redwoods (Sequoia Sempervirens)
These redwoods are the tallest and most massive living things on earth. They are conifers and can be found in the western coasts of North America.
They grow very tall very quickly and some of these ancient trees can reach up to one hundred and forty meters (460 ft). The largest one is called “The Big Tree” and is found in California. It measures forty meters wide, which is equal to a fourteen story building! They can be dated back millions of years.
Giant Sequoias (Sequoiadendron Giganteum)
These are very similar to the coast redwoods except they are found more inland rather than by the coast. These trees grow even faster and taller than the coastal redwoods and their wood is softer.
They can reach up to one hundred and sixty meters (500 ft) tall and are the widest living things on earth. They can be found in California, Oregon and also in parts of Montana and Idaho.
Bristlecone Pines (Pinuss Longaeva)
These trees are very small compared to other species of ancient trees. They do not reach even twenty meters (sixty-eight feet).
The secret to their longevity is their thick, reddish-brown bark. They have roots that extend very deep into the ground and can survive wildfires. They are also found in the western parts of North America. Some of these trees are over five thousand years old!
Irish Elms (Ulmus Procera)
These are a very interesting type of tree as they originally came from Europe. They were planted all over North America and had become naturalized here.
They were very popular due to their beautiful grayish-green color and gracefully arching branches. Unfortunately, in the sixties a virus completely destroyed all the Ulmus Procera in the United States. Now they are found only in small areas of Canada and states that do not border on the USA.
These are only a few of the many types of trees that have stood the test of time. When you find yourself in a forest, take a moment to appreciate the ancient living things all around you.
Soak up the silence and let your mind wonder about how these trees came to be.
Are there any trees where you live? If not, why not?
Maybe these trees aren’t needed for building houses or aren’t considered valuable enough to be made into furniture. Maybe these trees are simply in the “wrong” place. Maybe they’re too far gone for anyone to bother cutting them down. Maybe they’re in a park and are preserved for environmental reasons. Or maybe, just maybe, they’re old enough that no one dares cut them down out of fear of the curse that comes with disturbing ancient things.
Whatever the reason, if you find yourself in a forest and there aren’t any ancient trees, it might be best to look elsewhere for wood.
You never know when you’ll disturb the spirits that dwell there…
Sources & references used in this article:
Ancient trees in Amazonia by JQ Chambers, N Higuchi, JP Schimel – Nature, 1998 – nature.com
Annual climate variability in the Holocene: interpreting the message of ancient trees by KR Briffa – Quaternary Science Reviews, 2000 – Elsevier
Radiocarbon dating of Aspromonte sessile oaks reveals the oldest dated temperate flowering tree in the world by G Piovesan, M Baliva, L Calcagnile, M D’Elia… – Ecology, 2020 – Wiley Online Library
Inner Workings: How saving some of the Southeast’s oldest trees might help scientists monitor climate change by S Perkins – Proceedings of the National Academy of …, 2017 – National Acad Sciences