The oldest trees in world (top 6, ranked)

The world's oldest living tree is in the National Forest White Mountains in California, USA.

Everyone knows that you can count the rings to see how old a tree is and they can live up to thousands of years. Yep, there are trees out there that have seen societies and empires come into the world and collapse. What is the oldest tree in the world?

To answer this question, we’ve taken a look around to find the oldest living tree in the world. There’s something mesmerising about being able to stand among trees that have stood in that same spot for thousands of years.

The oldest known tree in the world is so protected, however, that visitors aren’t told which tree it is in the grove where it stands. We don’t want people taking souvenirs off it, do we?

Read on below to find out what the oldest living tree in the world is and to see a list of a few other ancient trees.

What is the oldest tree in the world?

Oldest tree in the world

Methuselah is the oldest living tree in the world and is said to be 4,855 years old. The ancient Great Basin bristlecone pine stands in a secret location within the Methuselah Trail in the Inyo National Forest White Mountains in California, USA.

The US Forest Service doesn’t tell visitors precisely where Methuselah stands, nor does the organisation release photographs of the ancient tree. This is done to protect the tree from tourists who could otherwise damage the old-timer and weaken its roots.

Another unnamed bristlecone pine also found within Inyo National Forest is potentially even older than Methuselah. Scientists working at the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research haven’t been able to locate the core of said unnamed tree, but it’s thought to be aged between 4,800-4,900 years old.

Runners up

Estimated to be at least 4,000 years old, Sarv-e Abarkuh can be seen standing in Iran’s Yazd province. The cypress tree is a national monument of the nation and is most probably the oldest thing alive across the entirety of Asia.

Located in Llangernyw village in North Wales, the Llangernyw Yew is said to be at least 4,000 years old and resides in a small graveyard. Supposedly, the ancient yew is still growing and has its roots (pun intended) in Welsh mythology. It’s also known as one of the 50 Great British trees here in the UK.

It’s worth pointing out that both the Llangernyw Yew and Sarv-e Abarkuh tree above have not had their ages scientifically proven. They could be younger than is said or older. We thought we’d include them as they could be as ancient as local oral traditions say.

The Alerce Milenario tree at the Alerce Costero National Park in Valdivia, Chile, taken on April 10, 2023. Photo credit: by Martin Bernetti / AFP via Getty Images

The age of the Alerce Milenario tree is something that’s up for debate, with ages ranging between 2,400 to 5,484 years old. It could be the oldest tree in the world but its top age was based on computer modelling as an estimate so it’s almost impossible to know for sure exactly how old the tree is. Another name for this Patagonian cypress tree is Gran Abuelo (great-grandfather) and it stands in the Alerce Costero National Park in Chile.

The memorably named BLK 227 bald cypress is around 2,629 years old (was found to be at least 2,624 years old in 2018). This ancient tree can be found standing somewhere in the Black River in North Carolina. Before you head on a trek to visit the tree, however, the exact location of it has not been disclosed for its protection.

Prometheus is thought to be the oldest tree ever and was at least 4,900 years old when it was cut down back in 1964. The bristlecone pine (what is it with these trees and living forever?) used to stand in Nevada’s Great Basin Wheeler Park. It was cut down by geographer Donald R Curry – he had permission before you ask – and he counted 4,862 rings in a stump that wasn’t from the base of the tree. Therefore it’s estimated that Prometheus was at least 4,900 years old when it was cut down.

Check some Guinness world records of all time here: World Records. Do you have any question or feedback about the world record above? If so please let us know here: Contact Us

Copyright © 2016 MOSTEXTREME.ORG. All rights reserved.