Conifers Gardening Records

1900-Year-Old-Tree Discovered in China

Many news sources worldwide recently reported the discovery of a 1900-year-old “pine” in Sichuan Province, southwest China. It’s a giant of a tree, six stories tall, with a girth of 7.5 m (25 feet) and roots reaching more than 50 m (164 feet) in all directions. The hollow trunk so large seven men can stand up inside it, but the discoverers, a group of foresters, say it is healthy and in no particular danger. Chinese officials expect it to become a local tourist attraction and are setting up means to protect it.

This is far from the oldest individual tree in the world. One contender for that title is a bristlecone pine tree (Pinus longaeva) in California’s White Mountain range nicknamed Methuselah that is over 4,700 years old. (For more ancient trees and plants, read The World’s Oldest Plants.)

Also, as anyone who knows conifers can clearly see, the tree is not a pine (Pinus spp.) and, in fact, looks nothing like a pine. I’m not an expert on oriental conifers, but I would guess it’s probably a hemlock (Tsuga). Perhaps a reader can clarify the situation?

Images from 8 News NOW Las Vegas

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

1 comment on “1900-Year-Old-Tree Discovered in China

  1. Yes, it looks more like a hemlock, although I am not very familiar with the genus.

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