We do not even notice trees in everyday life. They are always present, they are beautiful, and they take care that humans and animals have an essential condition for life – oxygen! But you surely did not know this interesting fact about trees.
It is believed that the oldest living plants are pines (Pinus longaeva) are the one growing in American rocky mountains. Some are at least 4600 years old.
Trees can explode
Although it sounds unlikely, the complex blend of chemical reactions that take place in certain tree species – can lead to a real explosion.
El Tule cypress (Taxodium mucronatum), which grows in Mexican Oaxaca, has a 46-meter wide tree, the largest of any live plants.
Pando, The Shivering Giant
Pando is a colony of about 47,000 aspen trees. This incredible colony is considered to be a unique organism because all trees share one underground root system and each tree is genetically identical. The new trees originate from the leaves of the enormous root system. It is estimated that Pando has been at least 80,000 years old, making it one of the earliest forms of life on the planet.
This colony rose 50,000 years before people arrived in North America. In some parts of the planet, the Neanderthals lived for another 30,000 years after it appeared. The territory which extends over 4 hectares has seen unimaginable changes, survived during the ice age, and occasionally the trees were burned to the ground, but everything survived and recovered from the roots again.
The widest tree ever
At the end of the 18th century, it was noted that chestnut (Castanea sativa) on Etna was 58 meters wide. A tree like that was never found again.
Trees have their security guards
It is difficult for trees to defend itself from humans and their chainsaw, but some trees have evolved so much in evolution that they have their own mechanisms against pests.
For example, tree acacia is known for providing shelter to enemy ants that guard against other parasites.
The longest root
A Fig tree (Ficus spp.) can have a very long root. One Fig tree in South Africa has roots 120 meters deep. This is the deepest root ever found.
More than 25% of western pharmaceutical products are made from tropical forests.
The US National Cancer Institute has announced that 3,000 plants suppress cancer cells and that 70% of these plants originate from tropical forests. Imagine how much valuable medicinal herbs are being destroyed or wholly eradicated, having in mind that trees disappear every second in the amount of one hectare of tropical forests.
The tallest tree
Mendocino Tree, a giant Sequoia in Montgomery, California, with a height of 112 meters, is the world’s tallest tree.
Trees can commit suicide
There is one kind of palm tree that grows in Madagascar, and it can make itself so exhausted that it merely withers.
The highest tree ever
With a height of 133 meters in 1872, the Australian Emperor Eucalyptus has the highest ever recorded height. It grew in the Australian province of Victoria.
Not all tropical forests are settled in tropical zones
The Pacific tropical rainforest of the temperate zone is the largest remaining rain zone on the planet. It is located along the Pacific coast and stretches from northern California to the bay of Prince Viliam in Alaska. It is characterized by a large amount of rainfall, more than three meters per year in some areas. In many areas, the forest grows just along the coast. It encompasses the tropical rainforest of the Great Bear in western Canada, which is the habitat of the rare species of a brown bear with white fur.
The biggest living tree
General Sherman, the massive mammoth (Sequoiadendron giganteum) that grows in California, is the most prominent living thing in the world. Its weight is about 2500 tons, which is equal to the weight of 19 adult blue whales. It is 84 meters high and is 25 meters in length.
Trees are one of the oldest organisms in the world.
If they are in perfect weather conditions, there is no limit to how long they can live. There are trees in the world over 9,000 years old, like the one in Sweden, Old Tjikko, which was discovered in 2004.
Numerous palm trees have large leaves, but the palm tree of Raphia ruffia growing on the shores of the Indian Ocean has the largest ever found leaves. The central stem can grow to 3.7 meters, while the leaf can be longer than 18 meters.
In many cultures, it is believed that hugging trees relieves the human body from negative energy. In many cultures, people think that trees, like humans and other forms of life, have energy vibrations and aura. As tree vibrations are slower and deeply connected to earth through the root, contact with trees can help us feel safe, secure and stable. Most will agree that walking through the woods or just watching trees, gives a sense of deep peace and serenity and can be emotionally and psychologically soothing.
The fastest growing tree
The alba tree (Albizia falcata) at Borneu grew10.7 meters in a period of 13 months, or about 2.5 cm a day. The growth rate of this species is a vital source of wood.
Some trees can create their own fertilizer
Here we primarily think of trees growing in the rainforests.
Close relations with trees
People in Malaysia maintain very close relationships with trees. Among the indigenous Sng’oi population, it is believed that the man and the tree may belong to each other, and this relationship is maintained throughout their lives. When someone belongs to a tree, he also belongs to its sprout – its tree growing from semen of the first tree, no matter how far away it grows from the original tree.
Also in Malaysia, trees are planted around houses so close that house walls are suffering from roots. In cemeteries, trees are allowed to leave roots in the graves, and it is said that the trees whisper the prayers to the Creator, seeking the salvation of those who are buried there. These customs speak of ancient knowledge that people and trees are closely associated throughout life and since the beginning of time.
Measuring how old trees are
To get a rough picture of how old the tree is, measure the tree at the height of 1.5 feet from the ground. Each 2.5 cm is a year of age.
Trees can independently amputate their branches
Although they can not heal their wounds as it happens to people, to remain healthy and alive, some species of trees can independently release the branches that endanger them.
The trees communicate with each other
Trees are connected beneath the earth’s surface with mushrooms on the root, living in symbiosis with the tree root. And trees and mushrooms need each other to survive. But that is not all. As fungi are primarily linked to trees roots, trees can use mushrooms to convey nutrients from one tree to another.
Thus, for example, it has been found that conifers give aspens nutrients during the winter through mushrooms to keep them healthy. Also, older, well-rooted trees convey nutrients through mushroom to young sprouts that need to grow more towards the sunlight to survive. The largest and oldest trees in the forest serve as a hub because they possess and produce large amounts of resources, and their massive roots spread in all directions.
When insects attack a tree, it distributes pheromones through mushrooms beneath the earth’s surface to warn nearby trees of a possible attack, so that other trees can be prepared by changing the chemical composition of their leaves.
Mushroom networks also strengthen the immune system of trees. Not only do different tree species help one another in the woods, but mushrooms and other species of plants join into the underground network and communicate with each other to keep the ecosystem healthy. It is documented that when one tree dies, it releases its resources into the roots network so that its neighbours will benefit from the food the tree no longer needs- it offers the greatest sacrifice.