Deodar tree in Lahaul valley of Himachal is India’s oldest tree

Dehra Dun : A deodar tree in the high altitude arid zone of Lahaul, in the adjoining state of Himachal Pradesh, has earned the rare credit of being the oldest surviving tree in the country.

Using the ring method for determining the age of a tree, scientist here claim that the deodar tree in Lahaul is 1584 years old.

Deodar Trees: Photo Credit - Veeresh Pathania

Sources in the Wadia Institute here said that the pines growing in the Himalayan region are just about ideal to study the changes in the climate of the region as the rings in the trunk not only tell the age of the tree but after analyzing them scientifically, one can even know the climatic changes that have taken place over the years.

They said that a team of the Institute had undertaken to prepare the climatic data over the years of the Himalayan region, which would further give an insight to the changes that had taken place over the years and it had gone round collecting the samples after drilling small holes in trunks of the trees.

The dust thus collected is studied with advanced special software, which besides giving the age of the tree also analyses the changes that had taken place in the climate over the years.

Sources in the institute say that it was while analyzing the samples thus collected for preparing an analytical climatic data of the Himalayas, it was found that the age of the tree in Lahaul was about 1548 years, which is believed to be the oldest surviving tree in the country, where no tree is said to have crossed 1000 years in age.

However, the oldest surviving tree in the world is said to be in Sweden, with its age out at 9550 years. The other closest one being the pine variety in Wheeler Park USA and the nest one is a pine in California USA.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt was Editor, Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish had worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, he was a recipient of many awards Jagdish Bhatt, aged 72, breathed his last on 28th August 2021 at his Dehradun residence.

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