The oldest olive tree

  Here is the oldest of the 7 very very VERY old olive trees in the Mediterranean!
It is in Crete ,in Vouves, and it is estimated to be around 2.000-4.000 years old. I guess the scientists who did the ring analysis couldn't be sure because which part do you count the rings of? It is not a straight growing tree ;)
It's circumference is 12.5 meters and the diameter 4,6 !! It is still alive and kicking and still producing olives,as you see in the photo
All olive trees,as they grow old,develop big cavities. So it is a matter of age, Mio, not species of trees : The older the tree ,the more twisted it's trunk gets. And if you are a kid, no place is more magical to hide in than an olive tree's cavity:))))


  1. Ring analysis cant be done exactly before cutting a tree because not all rings are same in their thickness. Thickness of one year ring is dependable on how good that year is for tree growth rate, so good year will bring more thicker ring and bad one will bring more thin ring. However there is an optimum of ring thickness for all trees, so calculation is made by dividing that ring thickness optimum with tree largest radius or diameter. However olive trees are very unpredictfull in way they grow, but theres an optimum for that also. Thats way estimate here is so large - from 2K to 4K years. In some other type of trees [which have more certain optimums] ring analysis are way much more accurate.

    On my must visit places in this life, from Greek islands so far there ware only two spots: Corfu and my beloved Cyprus, now the list is expanded and I am adding Create to meet with the oldest creature on the planet. Thanks for sharing.

  2. For the oldest,you have to fly to Swden,Mio:)

    ScienceDaily (Apr. 16, 2008) — The world's oldest recorded tree is a 9,550 year old spruce in the Dalarna province of Sweden. The spruce tree has shown to be a tenacious survivor that has endured by growing between erect trees and smaller bushes in pace with the dramatic climate changes over time.

    Thanks for explaining the ring analysis:)

  3. WOW!!!! What an amazing tree!!! I would love to stand close to it and if nobody was looking, I would like to crawl under its root and just lay there being with that wonderful tree! :)

  4. Ah HAH! I found the page you got this information from, because I did a search for "oldest tree in the world" and arrived at the same place you did! So interesting that that tree is not very impressive. I like your Olive tree better! :)

  5. I was reading about it myself and found that Swedish tree is actually part of root system that is old 9500+ years and not the tree itself. I also found that some little forest root system in USA is even more older estimated from 80k to 1mil years. However measurements are done by analyzing decay of radioactive carbon isotope C14 which have decay time of about 5750 years. When I was at university, inorganic chemistry books from which we learned ware from ~1970 and there this process was shown to be exact in measurement only for time of isotope decay, however I was reading much larger study now which confirms that estimation is now much bigger - about 60000 years [in an process which I do not understand how]. But anyways 80k to 1mil much more resembles an pure guessing as there is no scientific theory to support this claim. As a matter of fact I am not convinced in 60k theory at all and I consider everything above 5.5K years an pure guessing.

    You may wonder here about dinosaurs and claims about when they lived. Well, that time is estimated on basis of how deep in earth crest their bones are found. So in that case guessing has very little scientific background. You may notice now how easy these theories are accepted as fact, now when video rendering technology is better there are even BBC nature fairytale shows that remake whole ecosystems of dinosaur behavior. For which purpose these shows are presented as fact when even its so obvious that they are fake is something I can never understand.

    Sorry of being off topic, anyway I was searching the study on the internet that would compare oldest trees by using same technology level on all compared samples. From what I have seen there is none such document in existence. Anyhow, it seems that oldest single living tree in the world is some Baobab tree in Africa estimated to be ~6000 years old.

  6. WOW!! I 'm amazed you did all this research,good job Mio. Yes ,I know it is in reality a huge root ,but I guess it still counts or not?
    Whichever the oldest tree is, the fact remains trees are far older,and maybe wiser than any other living thing on this planet :]
    *Carbon radio-isotop analysis is also used in all kinds of fossils, dinos included...

  7. It does counts in scientific way, but something that lives under earth crest in soil was not seen by people living there and so it grew on its own without any human knowing for its existence.

    Now when you look at single tree there is a HUGE difference simply because it shows by its age that it is magical. People needed wood always so choosing not to cut that tree means that they have established some spiritual bonds with it. So that bonds allowed it to live this long.

    What I am trying to say is that is very different when we observe one organism living very long and being exposed to mercy of its main predator all the time and on other hand one that is living without anyone knowing about its existence.