The oldest living organism in Europe is a Bosnian pine located in northern Greece.
As reported by CNN, an international team of researchers were able to date the tree using dendrochronology, the scientific analysis of tree rings. The pine is at least 1,075 years old.
“It is quite remarkable that this large, complex and impressive organism has survived so long in such an inhospitable environment, in a land that has been civilized for over 3,000 years,” Swedish dendrochronologist Paul J. Krusic said in a news release.
Krusic led the expedition that resulted in the discovery of the ancient living tree.
“Many years ago I read a thesis about this very interesting forest in Greece,” Krusic said. “In our research, we try to build long chronologies to construct climate histories, so finding living trees of old age is one of our motivations.”
Researchers were able to conduct a dendrochronological study by taking a core from the outside to the center of the tree’s trunk without putting the tree’s health at risk.
Scientists dubbed the storied tree “Adonis” — a playful nod to the Greek god of youthful beauty.
“I am impressed, in the context of western civilization, all the human history that has surrounded this tree; all the empires, the Byzantine, the Ottoman, all the people living in this region,” “So many things could have led to its demise. Fortunately, this forest has been basically untouched for over a thousand years.”
The tree is in patch of pines which are all over 1,000 years old.