By Sumeyye Dilara Dincer
ANKARA (AA) - Monumental trees registered and protected in different parts of the world and accepted as natural heritage defy time.
One of the world's oldest trees is the 4,852-year-old Methuselah – named after the famed 969-year-old man in the Bible and the Quran – according to data from One Tree Planted, a charity that helps with reforestation efforts.
Considered one of the oldest non-clonal trees, Methuselah's location has not been disclosed in order to protect it from prying eyes and damage, but it is thought to be located in the White Mountains of California, US.
Methuselah, considered a Bristlecone Pine species, can grow in soils where other trees have difficulty growing. Its trunk is full of resin and it can survive even if it loses 90% of its bark.
-13,000-year-old Jurupa Oak
The centuries-old Jurupa Oak, found in the Jurupa Mountains of California, has about 70 trunk clusters entwined in dense shrubbery of around 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) wide and 1 meter (3.3 feet) high.
It is believed that the shrub-like plant managed to survive for 13,000 years due to its ability to constantly clone itself.
Some experts describe the Jurupa Oak as California's oldest plant and also the world's second oldest self-cloning plant.
- 50 centuries old 'yew tree' in UK
Another age-defying tree is the 50-century-old yew tree located in the town of Llangernyw in Swansea, Wales.
According to experts' estimates, the tree is between 4,000 and 5,000 years old, its trunk was divided into two at an unknown time, and it was taken under protection. One of the trunks is estimated to be about 6 m (20 ft) and the other 12 m (39 ft).
Yew trees might live up to 600 years, while no other yew tree has lived this long apart from this 50-century-old tree.
- 3,350-year-old olive tree in Portugal
"Oliveira do Mouchao," one of the oldest olive trees of Portugal and the Iberian Peninsula, is located in the village of Mouriscas near Abrantes.
The circumference of the trunk of the timeless tree is 11.2 m (36.7 ft) and its height is 7.8 m (25.6 ft). The 3,350-year-old olive tree still continues to bear fruit.
It is said the tree is one of the oldest olive trees in the world, along with the Vouves tree on the Greek island of Crete, and during the Roman civilization, these trees were not uprooted because supernatural powers were attributed to the olive trees.
- Iran's oldest tree: 'Cypress of Abarkuh'
The "Cypress of Abarkuh," a natural monument in Iran's Yazd province, is waiting to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Witnessing 4,000 to 5,000 years of history, it has a significant place in the cultural heritage of the country.
The tree was accepted as a wishing tree by the people of the region and tied with cloth pieces for wishes to come true. But this practice is not allowed now so that the tree can be protected.
It belongs to the Mediterranean climate and is of the Shiraz type. The tree reaches 28 m (92 ft) in height and the circumference of its trunk is 11.5 m (37.7 ft).
- One of world's oldest trees: Pando
One of the oldest trees on earth is the Pando tree, located in the Fish Lake National Forests in Utah, US.
Pando, which is seen as a tree in the position of a single poplar colony and has a large underground system, is estimated to be 80,000 years old.
It is said the roots of the tree, which is among the oldest known living organisms, are constantly renewed.
- Argentina's 2,600-year-old tree 'El Alenen Abuelo'
The age of one of the oldest trees in the world, named "El Alenen Abuelo," of the larch species in Los Alenens National Park in Argentina, exceeds 26 centuries.
The tree is located near the city of Esquel in Chubut province in the south of the country, about 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) from the capital Buenos Aires.
- Hundred-Horse Chestnut Tree in Italy
The "Hundred-Horse Chestnut Tree," the oldest of its kind in the world, has been witnessing history for 3,000 years in the village of Sant'Alfio, near the city of Catania, Italy.
The tree, whose trunk circumference reaches 58 m (190 ft), was awarded the title of "Largest Tree Circumference Ever" by Guinness World Records.
Legend has it that the tree takes its name from Queen Jeanne d'Anjou's shelter under this tree with her hundred knights after she was caught in a storm during her visit to Mt Etna.
It is stated that the tree was affected by the Etna Volcano that is located near the tree, and that some parts of it burned but it healed itself over time.
- Oldest trees in Turkey
Monumental trees, which are registered and protected in different parts of Turkey and accepted as natural heritage, are witnessing history. As of September this year, there are a total of 9,295 monumental trees across the country.
The 4,117-year-old yew tree, which was protected and registered in the Alapli district of Zonguldak province in the Black Sea region, stands out with its splendor. The tree, the oldest known tree in Anatolia, is among the five oldest trees in the world.
Two monumental trees are also registered in Turkey’s resort city of Antalya. The 2,327-year-old cedar tree in Kumluca district and the 1701-year-old Scented Juniper in Elmali district.
In southern Hatay's Samandag and Payas districts, a 2,001-year-old plane tree and 1351-year-old olive tree are witnessing history with their splendor.
A 1,501-year-old olive tree in the southwestern Mugla province, 1,651-year-old olive tree in western Manisa, 1,381-year-old London oriental plane tree in Istanbul, 2,001-year-old scented plane tree in central Konya, and 2,280-year-old oriental plane tree in the southeastern Kahramanmaras province were also registered as the country's monumental trees.
*Writing by Busra Nur Cakmak in Ankara, contribution by Levent Kisi in Antalya.