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islands canary eu tree oldest

Oldest tree in EU is in Canary Islands
from Canarias7:

The oldest tree in Europe is in the Canary Islands.

A study carried out by researchers from different institutions has identified a specimen of Canarian cedar (Juniperus cedrus), located in the Teide National Park, as the oldest tree in the European Union, since with the radiocarbon technique a dating of 1,481 years of age is obtained.

The study has been carried out by researchers from the University Institute of Sustainable Forest Management of the University of Valladolid (iuFOR), the Rey Juan Carlos University and the Teide National Park and has been published in the scientific journal "Ecology" of the Ecological Society of America, the island corporation said in a statement.
"Two years ago, in 2019, the Teide National Park identified a specimen known as the "Patriarch" as the oldest tree in the protected natural area. However, this new study corroborates that there are even older specimens, "says the Minister of Management of the Natural Environment and Security of the Cabildo, Isabel García, who adds that this volcanic space "is a large scientific laboratory in constant operation, and proof of this is this important analysis that delves into the presence of the Canarian cedars in the summits of the island at a time when the vegetation could have been very different to the current one".

Access to these populations of Juniperus cedrus, a species native to the Canary Islands, is quite difficult since they live perched on volcanic rock rocks only accessible with advanced climbing techniques, a challenge that scientists overcame thanks to the collaboration of local climbers, experts in conservation work in cliffed areas and co-authors of the work.

The researchers verified, after performing radiocarbon dating, that several of the specimens studied exceeded a thousand years, and that even one of them was 1,481 years old, which makes it the oldest tree dated to date in the European Union.

« Several of the trees we have found are comfortably over a thousand years old and we have only looked at a small part of what is there, which makes us think that we are just scratching the surface of what could be one of the most important redoubts of old trees on the planet, "says Gabriel Sangüesa, Juan de la Cierva researcher at the Campus of the University of Valladolid in Soria and first author of the work.

These elderly trees have been able to overcome five volcanic eruptions in the last 500 years, continuous rock falls, and develop in an arid and cold climate, with hardly any soil.

"The trees thrive much better in the plain but to persist they have had to take refuge in the cuts, since the action of man has been much more devastating than the volcanoes,"says José Miguel Olano, also a researcher at the University of Valladolid in Soria and co-author of the work.

These trees are not only old, but also, together with the conservation and protection measures derived from the creation of the National Park, they are recolonizing the plains from which they were expelled.
"The fruit of the cedars is dispersed by the action of birds, so the specimens that survived in the most abrupt areas are allowing to recover the ancient cedar forests of the park," says José Luis Martín Esquivel, co-author of the work and conservative biologist of the Teide National Park.

With the dating done, this specimen of cedar is 400 years older than the tree that until now was considered the oldest in Europe, a pine in Greece popularly nicknamed as "Adonis".
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