Oldest Tree in the UK and Europe
Is this the oldest tree in the UK and Europe?
According to tree experts who have done dendrochronology (ring dating) and DNA analysis on it, this amazing yew tree (Latin name: taxus baccata) is thought to date back to around 3000 BC. This means it's an astonishing 5000 years old if this estimate is accurate.
Putting this into perspective, it would mean that it started growing around 500 years prior to the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza and was already a small sapling when construction was thought to have begun on Stonehenge.
So, where is it?
If you ever fancy paying it a visit, it can be found in a Welsh churchyard (St. Cynog’s, Defynnog, which is near Sennybridge in Wales).
More about the tree itself
It's around 60 feet wide in total and is so old that it's split into 2 parts, one 40ft wide and the other 20ft wide. The ring count (ring dating analysis) done on this ancient yew tree showed it to have an astonishing 120 rings per inch. You can actually get an idea of its size by comparing the base to the size of the gravestone on the left in the picture above.
This Welsh tree has stolen the top spot from the previously though oldest tree, known as the Fortingall Yew, which is in an old churchyard, but in Perthshire, Scotland. It's worth mentioning that this particularly yew tree is also considered to not only be the oldest in the UK, but also in Europe.
It also stands on the side of an ancient burial mound, which further confirms that its estimated age could well be accurate as these trees were thought to sometimes be planted in order to pay homage to neolithic leaders.