- The fir was discovered on a mountain in national park in central Sweden
- Although the trunk is much younger, root system is at least 9,500 years
- The tree took root at the end of the last ice age, but could be older
The world's oldest tree has been found on a mountain in central Sweden – and it is still growing. The 9,500-year-old Norwegian Spruce was discovered by scientists at Umeå University during a 2004 tree census in Fulufjällets National Park in Sweden. The age of the tree was established using carbon-14 dating at a laboratory in Miami, Florida after an investigation by the university.
Growing old: The 9,500-year-old Norwegian Spruce is believed to be the world's oldest tree, and grows on a mountain in central Sweden
The tree, named Old Tjikko, pictured on a less cold day, was found by a team of scientists during a 2004 census
While the visible portion of the 13ft tall tree is relatively new, its root system has been growing for almost ten thousand years.
The parts of the root system that were sent to the United States dated back nearly 10,000 years, it is possible that other parts are older, locals told Aftonbladet.
Cold and old: The tree's age was established by a laboratory in Florida which analysed parts of the root system
Spruced up: The trunk and firs are significantly younger than 9,500 years, but the root system has been growing underground since the last ice age
‘During the ice age sea level was 120 meters lower than today and much of what is now the North Sea in the waters between England and Norway was at that time forest,’ Professor Leif Kullman, professor of Physical Geography at Umeå University, said.
'I can imagine that it may be probable that the first firs came from these areas.'
Professor Kullman has named the tree Old Tjikko, after his Siberian Husky.
He says wind and low temperature have seen the tree end up 'like a bonsai tree' with a lot of firs and a small trunk.
'Big trees cannot get as old as this,' he told Aftonbladet.
OLDEST LIVING TREE...AND HOW THE WORLD HAS CHANGED AROUND IT
The tree on Fulufjallet is older than most things we take for granted. It took root as humans had just begun to move north into Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia as the last ice age was beginning to end. Taking root 7,500 years before the birth of Christ, Sweden was still living in the Stone Age