The secret of the oldest tree in the world is still alive

The Methuselah tree remains rooted where it has grown for more than 4,800 years before the time of the Egyptian Pyramids. - VnExpress Travel

The Methuselah tree remains rooted where it has grown for more than 4,800 years before the time of the Egyptian Pyramids.

Deep in the Inyo valley at the foot of the White Mountains (eastern California) is where the oldest trees in the world exist. Unlike its forest counterparts, it has an official name of Methuselah .

Looking for the oldest trees

In the 1950s, the longevity researcher of Edmund Schulman from the University of Arizona traveled around national parks, deserts and fields in search of unusual, unseen old trees. In particular, he wants to find trees that are sensitive to the weather, affected by climate change and adaptive over the years.

Picture 1 of The secret of the oldest tree in the world is still alive Photo 1 of The secret of the oldest tree in the world is still alive
Edmund Schulman.(Photo: University of Arizona).

In 1953, a ranger from Inyo National Park revealed to Schulman the story of a special forest. Hidden among the ridges of the White Mountains is a forest of thousands of years old trees. It was then that Schulman believed he could uncover the secrets of the ancient climate.

On his first adventure, Schulman and his assistant climbed up to the 3,300 m high mountains of the White Mountains, sampling a bristlecone pine . They were surprised by the results of the analysis, as the plant may have lived for more than 1,500 years. The tree was named Patriarch (Patriarch), and became the inspiration for Schulman's next years of research. The Patriarch tree urged the expert to return to the eastern California mountains several times to find the oldest tree in the world.

Over the following summers, Schulman returned to the mountainside and gathered more data. Finally, he took samples from trees that were older than expected. "By 1956, we knew the fact that there are trees here that have lived more than 4,000 years, it's unbelievable," the expert wrote in a magazine in 1957.

Methuselah

In the summer of 1957, Schulman and his assistant ME Cooley found a small forest of old trees - all of which were 4,000 years old. Among them, the oldest is a 4,779-year-old bristlecone pine. That is, it sprouted from the time when the Egyptian Pyramids had not yet appeared and survived through ancient Greece and Rome, to the Middle Ages, to the Industrial Revolution to this day.

This pine grows in poor soil and is buried under snow almost year round and the sun burns for the rest of the time. It only has two months in the summer to produce and store nutrition for the winter. Schulman called it Methuselah , named after his grandfather Noah, who is said to live to 969 years old in the bible.

Picture 2 of The secret of the oldest tree in the world is still alive Photo 2 of The secret of the oldest tree in the world is still alive
An old pine tree in the Inyo National Forest.(Photo: Medium).

Secret

With the oldest life span in the world according to the Guinness World Records Organization, Methuselah still clings to its original roots where it grew more than 4,800 years ago, but its exact location remains a secret. honey. Conservationists do not want anyone to sabotage this ancient pine tree and the forest around it. This is really necessary, because it was the human mistake that ended the Prometheus tree nearly 5,000 years old. It is estimated that Prometheus is 4,862 years old at the time it was cut down for research.

In order for Methuselah to last, local authorities make many efforts to ensure life and even allow it to breed. For example, in recent years, scientists have taken the fruit of Methuselah and planted it in another place, hoping to genetically intervene, continuing its lineage. Some seeds have sprouted in the United States Botanic Garden.

Because almost all information describing Methuselah is hidden, the public is not aware of an official photo of this legendary tree. Today many tourists take photos of the ancient bristlecone pine trees in Inyo National Forest and affirm that it is Methuselah. However, no photos have been confirmed. The government also discouraged visitors and residents from seeking Methuselah in the forest.

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