Things We Heart – January 2019

We’ve rounded up some of the best tree stuff on the web for your enjoyment. Check out this month’s highlights below:

Small but mighty

Trees’ age can be measured by the number of rings they have. One might assume that the taller or larger a tree is, the older it is – but scientists in the Congo have discovered that some of the shorter trees in the Congolese rainforest are some of the oldest. Read more.

Old as dirt? Not quite

Trees are some of the oldest organisms on the planet. Some research indicates that they first evolved around 370 million years ago and it is currently estimated that there are over 3 trillion mature trees in the world. However, there might be some evidence that pushes their evolution back by around 15 million years to the Middle Devonian period – roughly 385 million years ago. A fossil, called Wattieza, was found in New York State that could be the oldest tree ever discovered. Read more about the seven oldest known trees in the world.

Speaking of old… we have a trend here

Imagine scientists reviving giant creatures that once roamed the Earth. Well, that’s what arborists are doing today, only they’re cloning saplings from the stumps of the world’s largest, strongest, and longest-lived trees – felled for timber more than a century ago – to create redwood “super groves” that can help fight climate change. Read more about it.

palm in a hedgeBonus round: Did you know?

Many people refer to palm trees as… well… trees. But they’re not! Palms do not gain rings as they age, and they don’t have bark – both of which are traits of trees. It would be more accurate to refer to palms as grass, since they’re considered woody herbs much like grass and bamboo. So, the next time you’re somewhere tropical, you might scratch your head a bit when you realize those tall, tree-like things with fronds exploding from the top are not actually trees. For that reason alone, it might be easier to just start calling them “palm” from now on.

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