Guess what this is! It’s a selfie with a tree named after a Husky!
Oldest Tree in the World
Confused? I’m at Sweden and what you see behind me is a tree called Old Tjikko, a 9558 year old Norwegian Spruce. And it was named Old Tjikko after the pet Siberian Husky of Prof. Leif Kullman, who discovered it in 2004.
Discovery and Details
Prof Kullman, a Physical Geography professor at Umea University, discovered the tree and determined its age using carbon-14 dating. The professor explains that the visible portion of the tree itself isn’t that old and are around 600 years old. The roots, however, are much older – thousands of years older. The tree has lived this long, researchers say, due to “vegetative cloning”, i.e. the ability of the tree to clone itself. Thus, whenever the stem dies, a new one grows in its place, accounting for the extremely long life expectancy of the tree.
A 9550 year old Norway Spruce Tree
Researchers say that initially, the tree would’ve had the appearance of a stunted shrub due to its harsh surrounding environment. Global warming accounts for the sudden growth spurt. Although it isn’t the oldest tree in the world, 9500 years isn’t shabby, if I may say so myself. And to protect this ancient tree, access to it is limited. People who want to visit the tree may do so on guided tours arranged at the park entrance.
I do hope Old Tjikko lives on. There’s something very serene about a tree that has lived for close to 10000 years!