The World’s Oldest Trees

 In Inexpensive Tree Care Blog

We’ve discussed the tallest and the deadliest, and now it’s time for the oldest.

Some of the oldest living organisms on the planet are trees. The ones on this list were all well into maturity before Christ (b.c.), and have survived through unimaginable changes that have taken place throughout the world since. Here are six of the Earth’s oldest living trees, and an honorary seventh (you’ll find out why it’s honorary later).

Check out some amazing photos of these trees, taken during a 14-year project completed by renowned photographer, Beth Moon.


Somewhere in the Inyo National Forest in California resides the oldest living tree in the world. At a truly ancient 4,841 years old, the bristlecone pine known as Methuselah (possibly pictured above) has an undisclosed location to protect it from the public. An even older specimen used to exist there as well, named Prometheus. It was cut down at 4,900 years old back in 1964 with the U.S. Forest Service’s permission.

Llangernyw Yew

In the small courtyard of St. Dygain’s Church in the Llangernyw village of north Wales lives a 4,000 year-old yew tree. It’s still growing today after being planted way back in the prehistoric Bronze Age. More recently, the Llangernyw Yew was named one of 50 Great British trees as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s golden jubilee.

Sarv-e Abarqu

A cypress tree also known “Zoroastrian Sarv,” Sarv-e Abarqu has been growing in Iran’s Yazd province for at least 4,000 years. It’s considered an Iranian National Monument due to the fact that it may very we’ll be the oldest living thing in Asia, surviving through the dawn of human civilization not too far away.


Native to the Andes mountains in South America, The Alerce is a sky-scraping tree species believed to be the second-longest living trees on earth (just behind the North American bristlecone pine). Unfortunately, because many Alerce were logged in the 19th and 20th centuries, there’s really no telling how old this species can get. The oldest known living tree of this kind, commonly referred to as Fitzroya cupressoides, is 3,640 years old.

Olive Tree of Vouves

On the Grecian island of Crete grows an ancient olive tree believed to be more than 3,000 years old– and it still produces olives. The Olive Tree of Vouves is the oldest of seven in the Mediterranean region that are between 2,000 and 3,000+ years old. Their longevity can be credited to hardiness and resistance to drought, disease, and fire. The olives produced by this tree are highly prized as one would expect.

Patriarca da Floresta

The Patriarca da Floresta (loosely translated as “father of the forest”) is a 3,000 year-old Cariniana legalis located in Brazil. It is considered to be the oldest non-conifer in the country. Because its species is widely threatened by deforestation in Brazil, Venezuela and Colombia, this particular tree is now sacred to Brazilian conservationists.

The Senator

In Florida there once lived a 3,500 year-old bald cypress, which is the honorary old tree on our list. It was called “The Senator” because it was donated to the state by Sen. M.O. Overstreet back in 1927. Although, it has likely had many names as it was used by the Seminoles and other natives as a landmark. It was believed to be the largest U.S. tree east of the Mississippi River and the oldest bald cypress in existence. It endured many hurricanes, but we use the past tense here because, unfortunately, a 26-yr-old woman burned The Senator to the ground in 2012.

While the trees in your yard may not be ancient, there are many in our highly-forested region that are of significant age and size. Mature trees deserve special care. So, if you have an old tree please get the help of a certified arborist to keep it healthy. Call Inexpensive Tree Care today.


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