London, Aug 21 : A Bosnian pine (Pinus heldreichii) growing in the highlands of northern Greece has been dendrocronologically dated to be more than 1075 years old.
This makes it currently the oldest known living tree in Europe. It is one of more than a dozen individuals of millennial age, living in a treeline forest high in the Pindos mountains.
Considering where the tree was found, and its venerable age, the scientists have named this individual "Adonis" after the Greek god of beauty and desire.
"In our research, we try to build long chronologies to construct climate histories, so finding living trees of old age is one of our motivations. To age the tree, we needed to take a core of wood, from the outside to the centre. The core is one metre and has 1075 annual rings," said dendrochronologist at Stockholm University, Paul J. Krusic.
According to the study, this tree has basically remained untouched for over a thousand years.
The scientists hope the annual variations of the tree rings from trees like this and those fallen in centuries past, yet still preserved on the ground, will provide an informative history of climatic and environmental conditions, going back thousands of years.