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November 17, 2009. USA.

The oldest plant on our planet – Pinus longaeva – suddenly began to grow rapidly. Nothing like that happened to it in the previous 4,000 years.

Pinus Longaeva (Evergreen Pine Tree) won its well-earned glory of a long living plant. The most outstanding specimen lived up to 5,000 years. The timber of these ancient trees is very thick and rich in tar, therefore, insects, bacteria and causal fungus do not live in it. The thickness of annual rings (layers of increase of timber) of these unique pines serves as a very valuable indicator. It is used, for instance, to caliber the scale used for radio-carbon method or in dendrochronology.

The habitat of the pine tree is very narrow. It can be found in not very famous White Mountains on the border of California and Nevada (USA). Covered by a layer of white dolomites, the White Mountains look very unique. On a height of approximately 2,800 to 3,500 meters, almost at the top, there is a forest belt, in which the pine trees grow. Extraordinary looking plants with uneven thick trunks, minimal number of green sprouts with red cones covered with hairs, grow at big distances from one another. Often dry trees grow next to them. And their age can reach up to 10,000 years. In dry and cold climate hard timber can be wonderfully kept.

Doctor Mathew W. Salzer from the University of the State of Arizona and his colleagues from Western Washington University and University of Minnesota discovered an amazing fact: in the second half of XX century old long-living pine trees experienced their maximal annual increase in the previous 3,700 years. On the upper border of the forest, where the forest belt ends and Alpine meadows begin, the annual increase was around 50%. Especially active growth was experienced by these pine trees since 1951 and till 2005.

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