A Cypress Tree In North Carolina Was Dated At 2,624-Years-Old, And It’s Extremely Rare To Find A Tree Anywhere In The World Over 1,000-Years-Old

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The dark, quiet, swampy waters of the Black River Preserve in North Carolina are where North America’s oldest trees east of California stand tall.

A cypress tree growing in Bladen County was dated at 2,624-years-old. The property where the tree was found had been purchased by the Nature Conservancy.

The ancient tree was first discovered in the 1980s when David Stahle, a dendrochronologist, professor, and researcher at the University of Arkansas, visited the Black River Preserve along with a retired biologist named Julie Moore.

Even back then, Stahle was sure that the cypress tree was over 1,000-years-old, and decades later, his hunch was confirmed.

Not only has the tree been identified as the oldest cypress tree, but it is also the fifth-oldest tree in the world.

“At the time, I figured [there are] 1,000-year-old trees all around here, which is extraordinarily rare anywhere but California and Chile, too,” Stahle said. “It’s very rare worldwide to find trees that are over 1,000-years-old.”

In 2011, one of Stahle’s graduate students wanted to return to Black River to study the trees. Angie Carl, a guide at the Nature Conservancy, took them downstream toward the cypress trees.

The ages of the trees were measured using dendrochronology, a scientific method of dating trees through their rings.

It is done by twisting a hollow borer into a tree trunk to retrieve a small, pencil-sized sample of the tree’s core. To verify the ages, radiocarbon dating is used as an additional measure.

ejkrouse – – illustrative purposes only

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