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January 9, 2014 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 1

World's Top 5 Amazing Trees

By Rachael Ellen More Blogs by This Author

Our childhoods were enchanted by trees. Trees were our challenges, presenting us with the opportunity to climb above the everyday and look at the world from a whole new perspective. In honor of nature’s towering, wooden giants, let’s take a look at the world's top 5 amazing trees!

1.) Methuselah: Oldest Tree in the World

With its twisted and knotted trunk, Methuselah has been through all kinds of rough weather upon a mountaintop in the Inyo National Forest of California. To protect the tree and its surrounding ecosystem, Methuselah's location has been kept a secret. The ancient tree’s name was uprooted from the Bible. The Bible's Methuselah, grandfather of Noah, was said to be the oldest person to ever live. He died at 969 years old.  

This 4,800 year old bristlecone pine, Methuselah, is known as the oldest tree in the world.

2.) Hyperion: Tallest Tree in the World

Just like Methuselah, Hyperion, a coast redwood, is hidden within the woods of California. Hyperion is the world’s tallest living tree, standing at 379.4 ft tall. As shown below, it towers over the beloved Statue of Liberty and England's Big Ben. Hyperion's location is also kept confidential to protect the trees ecosystem from being disturbed. The tree’s name comes from Greek mythology, and it means “The High-One.”

Hyperion is the tallest tree in the world, standing 379.4 ft tall.

3.) Dwarf Willow: Smallest Tree in the World

In the eyes of botanists and foresters, the winner of the shortest tree category is up for debate. Generally speaking, trees are defined as “a woody plant with a single erect perennial trunk that reaches at least 3 inches in diameter at breast height when mature.” In comparison to the "real tree," the Dwarf Willow stands only .4-2.4 inches tall. However, the little guy is a relative of the willow tree family and is recognized by many as the world's smallest tree, despite the blurred criteria.

Dwarf Willows are the world’s smallest trees and are found in the coldest regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

4.) Methuselah (Part Two): Oldest Seed in the World

No, this is not the ancient bristlecone pine mentioned prior. It is, however, old. This second Methuselah is a date palm, grown from a seed nearly 2,000 years old. The seeds were uncovered in 1963 while a team of archaeologists were excavating King Herod’s fortress in Masada. The seeds were then taken to a lab in Israel where they were left untouched for 40 years, until a team of botanists, agronomists, and biologists decided to study the seeds. After carbon dating two of the seeds, they planted the third. After about 8 weeks, the planted seed sprouted, taking the record as the oldest germinating seed in the world. It too was named Methuselah, highlighting the extraordinary age of the seed. Until planting Methuselah, the oldest seed to germinate was 1,300 years old.

After being found and left in a drawer for 40 years, this 2,000 year old date palm seed sprouted. It is the world's oldest germinated seed. 

5.) Arbol del Tule: Widest Tree in the World

Located in the center of Santa Maria del Tule in Oaxaca, this 1,400 year old cypress tree is the world’s widest tree. Arbol del Tule’s diameter measures nearly 46.1 ft, and its circumference measures an impressive 137.8 ft. To ensure that the tree was not a mass collection of several trees DNA tests were done. The results of the test determined that Arbol del Tule is indeed a single tree.

With a diameter of 46.1 ft, Arbol del Tule is currently the widest tree in the world.

There you have it! Some of the world's greatest works of art, just "doin' their tree thang." These beautiful and unique trees are a humble reminder that we are surrounded by an amazing world. 

Sources: 

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/06/080612-oldest-tree_2.html

http://whataplantknows.blogspot.com/2012/04/methuselah-200-year-old-date.html

http://www.mnn.com/search/google/The%20world%27s%2010%20oldest%20living%20trees?query=The%20world%27s%2010%20oldest%20living%20trees&cx=004787631880393325519%3Ajekny5pt5xa&cof=FORID%3A11&sitesearch=

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/17/science/at-age-4600-plus-methuselah-pine-tree-begets-new-offspring.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methuselah

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperion_(tree)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperion_(mythology)

http://forestry.about.com/od/treephysiology/p/smallest_tree.htm

http://news.sciencemag.org/archaeology/2008/06/ancient-palm-resurrected-2000-year-old-seed

http://iliketowastemytime.com/2012/10/01/oldest-tallest-and-biggest-trees-in-world

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%81rbol_del_Tule#cite_note-gd-2

http://smalleststuff.com/smallest-tree-in-the-world/

Photos:

http://iliketowastemytime.com/2012/10/01/oldest-tallest-and-biggest-trees-in-world

http://news.sciencemag.org/archaeology/2008/06/ancient-palm-resurrected-2000-year-old-seed

http://whataplantknows.blogspot.com/2012/04/methuselah-200-year-old-date.html

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/06/080612-oldest-tree_2.html

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yenchao/9187251826/sizes/l/in/set-72157634433805318/

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