It might be the oldest tree in Britain. A yew tree that sprawls over a churchyard in Wales is more than 5,000 years old, according to experts. While it’s not exceptionally tall, the tree has a wide canopy. And it dates back to the era of Egypt’s pharaohs.
From NPR’s London bureau, Rich Preston reports:
“The 60-foot-wide yew tree sits in the grounds of St Cynog’s churchyard near Swansea in Wales. Recent DNA and ring-count testing shows the tree to be more than 5,000 years old – making it older than the Great Pyramid of Giza.
“Yew tree expert Janis Fry says she’s confident it’s Britain’s oldest tree. She’s been studying trees for 40 years, and much of her focus has been on yew trees. They formed an important part of ancient rituals, and Janis says this one was probably planted in honour of a Neolithic chieftan.
“Wales is one of the most significant places in Europe for ancient yew trees, and the church has launched a campaign to protect these historic assets.”
If you’re wondering about the tree’s wide girth, it seems that it split in two at some time in its long history — leaving one section that’s 20 feet wide and another that’s measured at 40 feet.
That’s according to The Daily Mail, which says that yew trees’ ability to survive such fractures is one reason they can live so long.
Read original article – Published July 09, 201410:53 AM ET
5,000 Years Old: Ancient Yew Tree Identified In Wales
- According to a U.S. Commerce Department report, Canadian exports of softwood lumber to the United States in 2016 were valued at $5.6 billion.
- Prior to the discovery of the spear-tip, it was thought that human habitation on the islands dated back only 2,500 years.
- The U.S. has relied on legislation from 2001 to justify its use of force against ISIS. But a bipartisan group of representatives say it's outdated, and argue it's time for a debate.
- The agency will scale back its collection of "about" data, messages that are not only traveling to and from a foreign target, but those that mention one.