It’s important to take good care of trees. Not only do they provide shade, beauty, and shelter, but they’re also living time capsules that can share information about ancient times and inspire world-changing discoveries.
Isaac Newton’s Apple Tree
English physicist Isaac Newton published his famous Principia Mathematica in 1687 postulating gravity. He related that his inspiration for gravity came from watching an apple fall from a tree in a straight line to the ground. Several organizations claim to have the actual tree that inspired Newton, most famously Woolsthorpe Manor, managed by the National Trust in England. The tree at Woolsthorpe Manor has been determined to be over 400 years old. While the original trunk broke off in heavy winds in 1820, a new shoot grew up from the same root system and the tree survives to this day. Thanks to grafting by skilled arborists, direct descendants of this apple tree now reside on many college campuses across the globe.
Pando is the world’s heaviest known living organism, and one of the oldest, too. Pando is a colony of quaking aspen tree clones growing in Fishlake National Forest in Utah. While the colony appears to be an aspen forest comprised of individual trees, the trees are clones connected by a common root system estimated to be 80,000 years old. It is estimated to weigh 6,000 tons. The colony consists of about 40,000 trees (or stems) that are spread over 106 acres of land. Quaking aspen trees are dioecious, meaning that there are separate male and female plants. By looking at Pando’s biological features, researchers have determined that Pando is male. Sadly, he appears to be in decline due to a combination of insect damage, drought, and disease, but rangers are conducting experiments to stimulate the roots to grow more stems and get Pando back into world-record shape.
Methuselah the Judean Date Palm
Methuselah gets his name from the fact that he was successfully grown from the 2000-year-old seed of an extinct plant. Judean date palms were a staple in the ancient Middle East but gradually stopped being cultivated and eventually became extinct. The seed that sprouted Methuselah was discovered by an archeologist in 1973 during a dig at Masada, an ancient fortress in Israel. Researchers planted the seed in 2004, and Methuselah is now more than ten feet tall. Like the quaking aspen, Judean date palms are dioecious. Methuselah is a male, and his pollen has successfully produced dates on modern female date trees. Methuselah’s growers are now raising young female Judean date palms grown from other ancient seeds. When the females are fully mature, their flowers can be fertilized by Methuselah’s pollen and produce dates that haven’t been savored for over a thousand years.
These famous trees have survived only through the care of highly trained arborists. Regardless of their celebrity status, all trees live longer, healthier lives with proper care. Rich’s Tree Service can help trees reach their full potential. Contact them for a free estimate today.