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Actually, Old Tjikko looks neither very old nor particularly spectacular, but the history of the Swedish spruce goes back about 9550 years back in time. The tree is a sensation for the scientists of the University of Umeå, although it is actually only 375 years old. So how come he claims the record to be the oldest tree in the world?
The team of scientists led by research leader Leif Kullmann found wood remains and cones under the spruce, which could be dated to 5660, 9000 and 9550 years using C14 analysis. The fascinating thing is that they are genetically identical to the currently growing 375-year-old spruce Old Tjikko. This means that the tree propagated in at least four generations of tree history even by offshoots and would probably have a lot to talk about.
Exciting insights into the record tree Old Tjikko
Particularly exciting for the scientists is that through this discovery, a previously firmly anchored assumption must be thrown overboard. Because spruce were previously considered as newcomers in Sweden, who settled there very late after the last ice age.
In addition to Old Tjikko, the research team found another 20 other spruces in an area from Lapland to Dalarana. The age of the trees could also be dated to more than 8000 years using C14 analysis. Thus, the previous assumption that the trees came from the east and northeast to Sweden and another presumption of origin, the researcher Lindqvist as early as 1948, now tilts back into the focus of the scientists. According to his assumption, today's spruce population in Sweden has spread from a glacial retreat located in the west of the then milder Norway. Prof. Leif Kullmann is now taking up this view again. He assumes that during the Ice Age, large parts of the North Sea dried out, the sea level dropped drastically and the spruce could spread on the resulting coastal strip to the mountainous region of today's Dalarna province and survive.