World’s oldest tree grew in a totally different way to trees today

By Jen Mills
October 24, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The world’s oldest tree has been discovered, and it’s confusing scientists because it looks quite different to trees today. At 374 million years old, the the fossilised remains tell us a lot about how plant life has evolved over the millions of years since. Strangely, it seems a lot more complicated than trees now. As anyone who went to primary school will remember, you can tell the age of a tree by counting the rings in the trunk. But not this tree – which has an interconnected web of woody strands within the trunk instead. The remains, discovered in Xinjiang, China, seems much more intricate than your common or garden oak or elm. The discovery could also provide new insights into climate change, by examining the amount of carbon they were able to soak up from the atmosphere.

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