A Bosnian pine on a barren hillside in the highlands of northern Greece has been named Europe’s oldest living in habitant.
Discovered by scientists from Stockholm University, the tree has been dated as more than 1075-years-old.
It is believed to one of more than a dozen trees in the Pindos mountains to be aged at over a millennium.
Scientists hope the trees’ rings will shed light on climatic conditions spanning thousands of years.
Practising dendrochronology, researchers removed part of the core of the tree to survey the rings.
Expedition leader Paul J. Krusic said: “I am impressed, in the context of western civilization, all the human history that has surrounded this tree; all the empires, the Byzantine, the Ottoman, all the people living in this region. So many things could have led to its demise.
“Fortunately, this forest has been basically untouched for over a thousand years.”
Other clonal trees in European might be classified as older, but they reproduce asexually. The same organism doesn’t survive.
Several Great Basin bristlecone pine in the Californian White Mountains are believed to be around 5,000-years-old.