Europe's oldest known tree discovered in Italy
Thursday, June 7, 2018
Posted by: Dana Walker
On a cliff in Italy’s Pollino National Park stands a sparse pine tree with a dead crown and a
decaying trunk. The tree has seen better days, but we can forgive its rough appearance; as Elizabeth Preston reports for Discovery, this craggy conifer was recently identified as the oldest known tree in Europe.
Gianluca Piovesan and his fellow researchers at the Università della Tuscia spent three years sampling trees in Pollino National Park, which is located in a remote region that is home to thousands of Heldreich’s pine trees. Previous studies conducted in the park had identified pines that were close to 1,000 years in age, which prompted the researchers to wonder if they could find even older specimens, according to a study published recently in Ecology.