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. After studies at the University of Toronto and Laval University where he obtained his B.A. in modern languages in 1978, he succeeded in combining his language skills with his passion for gardening in a novel career as a garden writer and lecturer. 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 is a regular contributor to and horticultural consultant for Fleurs, Plantes, Jardins garden magazine and has written for many other garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Rebecca’s Garden 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 50 other titles in English and French. He can be seen in Quebec on French-language television and was notably a regular collaborator for 7 years on the TV shows Fleurs et Jardins and Salut Bonjour Weekend. He is the President of the Garden Writers Association Foundation and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. An avid proponent of garden tourism, he has lead garden tours throughout Canada and to the gardens of over 30 countries over the last 30 years. He presently resides in Quebec City, Quebec.

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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