Tree Tuesday

This lonely Norway Spruce lives on top of Falufajallet Mountain in Sweden and is estimated to be about 9, 550 years old making it the worlds oldest tree. According to Atlas Obscura,

Located in Fulufjallet National Park, Old Tjikko began growing in this harsh tundra shortly after the glaciers receded from Scandinavia at the close of the last ice age. To put that into perspective, this lowly shrub was growing as humans learned to plow fields, domesticate the cat, and—2,000 years after it first took root—our ancestors begin learning to smelt copper.

Old Tjikko is part of a clonal organism and its age was determined by carbon dating of its roots. There’s a small path that leads to the tree and park rangers give free guided tours. It’s preferred that visitors not go unaccompanied. I’d say that people shouldn’t be allowed to visit at all except I’d like to go myself.

I may need to start a new bucket list just for the trees that I’d like to visit.


  1. Nightjar says

    That’s quite a respectable age. I hope Old Tjikko keeps on surviving our destructive tendencies.

  2. lumipuna says

    As Wikipedia notes, Old Tjikko isn’t the oldest known clonal tree, though it’s much older than any known individual tree. It’s said to regenerate from both root suckers and layering (rooting) of low-hanging branches. I knew about the latter, but I hadn’t heard of Norway spruce ever making suckers.

    AFAIK, it was previously thought the postglacial colonization of Norway spruce did not reach central Scandinavia until around 2000-3000 years ago, for reasons that are poorly known. My personal guess would be that the climate was a bit too maritime for Norway spruce for much of the Holocene. Apparently, there was actually an early colonization but the species only became common later, facilitating and benefiting from the acidification of soils.

  3. dakotagreasemonkey says

    Nine and a half thousand years old is over three times the recorded history of the human species.
    As many times I have tried to answer how important this is, I come up as short-sided.
    Like a mouse looking at an elephant, I just can’t see how anything can grow that big, or that old.
    All I know ( from the perspective of a human mouse, is: keep that tree thriving!). How to do that, is beyond me, I just want it, (and us) to keep living prosperous lives, without endangering the life of this old tree.
    Do you know how precious a walking stick, harvested from this tree would be worth? 100 year old wood is very rare, as dead wood standing. Yet I have harvested it.
    Nine thousand year wood should never be harvested, or, die because of us humans.

  4. springa73 says

    Norway spruces are common ornamental trees in peoples’ yards -- including mine -- around where I live. Pretty sure none of them is much more than 100 years old, though, and most are younger than that.

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