Sunday, October 17, 2010

On spruces

When I visited the National Zoo in Washington D.C. last August, most of my pictures were of animals. As it should be. One of my non-animal pics, however, look a little (actually, a lot since I am posting the actual picture and not a drawing of it...) like this:


I am sure we can all agree this hardly is a spectacular motive that deserves a prominent place in a photo album, but I still was very eager to get the shot. Why? Well, duh - the NAME of course. Prior to this, I had no idea that this tree was called "Norway Spruce". We don't call it that here - in Norway, it's just a regular spruce. Well, actually, it's a regular gran, but that's beside the point.

The point? There isn't much of a point, but the fact that I could read the name of my country way over in the big US of A felt like a little piece of fame for my home right there and then.

Speaking of fame and spruces, did you know that the world's oldest living tree is a Norway Spruce? It's called Old Tjikko, it is located in Sweden (but it's still called Norway Spruce - hah!), and it is - wait for it - 9,500 years old! That means that this tree already was 8,500 years old when actual vikings roamed its forest. When a bloke named Jesus was born (though not in Sweden, I should add) some 2010 years ago, this spruce still had been around 7,480 years (or so). The spruce had been around for more than 4000 years when the ancient Egyptian civilization formed as well. In fact, the first humans were just settling down for a life of agriculture as opposed to just hunting and gathering when this spruce was born.

So it's a really old tree.

11 comments:

welcome to my world of poetry said...

This was a very interesting post. I didn't know about the Norway Spruce, as they say we learn something everyday,

Yvonne.

Jemi Fraser said...

Wow! I didn't realize any trees were that old! That's incredible!

M.J. Nicholls said...

Damn those trees. They have all the fun.

The Golden Eagle said...

That is one old tree!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That is an old tree! No idea the oldest was a Norway Spruce.

Deb and Barbara said...

We have a 350 year old copper beech in our backyard. It is spectacular -- trunk like a giant elephant leg. It's why we bought the house....
B

Alexandra Crocodile said...

Seriously? 9500 år gammel gran? Crazy! I MUST see this tree!

Clarissa Draper said...

Wow, you've really put it into perspective for us. Thank you. And, for the record, it's a lovely looking tree. I wonder what a Canadian Spruce looks like.

CD

Kelly said...

How interesting!! I had no idea the world's oldest tree was a spruce. I would have thought maybe something in Asia. Fascinating!

nonamedufus said...

In Canada we have a tree with a very common name...Jack Pine.

Pat Tillett said...

couldn't you tell by it's accent?

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