The Really Old Tree Species

photo by ichiro s.

What's the Oldest tree?

Not the oldest single specimen, but the oldest continuous descendant?

Dating back to the Permian (270 million years ago) and becoming diverse in the Jurassic (Park) period, Gingko Biloba is sometimes called the living fossil.

The reason for its success?

-Ecological Conservatism, preferring light soils near rivers (a condition satisfied somewhere in the world for the past 300 million years)

-Resistant to insects

-Slow maturing and longevity, the average tree has a 1,000 year lifespan

-A simple reproductive strategy

Fresh leaves, the inner seed, and dried leaves are often combined to create a blend with antioxidant properties.

It's a gymnosperm (pines, redwoods, ferns, spruce) and the only one that is deciduous. It probably was eaten in great quantities by large, grazing dinosaurs


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