Scientists Recognized the Oldest Tree in North Carolina

Scientists Recognized the Oldest Tree in North Carolina

We have written a post about the tallest tree around the world. And now scientists revealed the oldest tree (2,624 years old) in North Carolina.

The most well-known trees in the preserve expand the paleoclimate record in the southeast United States by 900 years.

According to “In 2017, David Stahle, Distinguished Professor of Geosciences, along with colleagues from the university’s Ancient Bald Cypress Consortium and other conservation groups, discovered the trees from a forested wetland preserve along the Black River south of Raleigh, North Carolina. Stahle documented the age of the trees using dendrochronology, the study of tree rings, and radio carbon dating”.

Scientists determined around 110 trees located in a 16,000-acre plot of land owned by the North Carolina Nature Conservancy. The trees, which are Bald Cypress, are located along the Black River.

Stahle claimed, “It is exceedingly unusual to see an old-growth stand of trees along the whole length of a river like this. Bald cypress is valuable for timber and they have been heavily logged. Way less than 1 percent of the original virgin bald cypress forests have survived.”

Executive director of The North Carolina Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, Katherine Skinner, said, “Dr. Stahle’s original work on the Black River, which showed trees dating from Roman times, inspired us to begin conservation on the Black more than two decades ago. This ancient forest gives us an idea of what much of North Carolina’s coastal plain looked like millennia ago. It is a source of inspiration and an important ecosystem. Without Dr. Stahle, it would have gone unprotected and likely destroyed.”

Stahle said, “The area of old growth bald cypress was 10 times larger than I realized. We think there are older trees out there still.” The study of the oldes tree is published in the journal Environmental Research Communications.


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