Why trees live longer

Do you know the oldest tree in the World ? It is Old Tjikko which is 9550 years old. This tree is located in Fulufjället Mountain of Dalarna province in Sweden. The age of this tree was determined using carbon dating.

Image of Old Tojikko

Seeing this tree alive after 9550 years you might have question in your mind why trees live longer ?

And believe me there are many trees on this planet that are at least 1000 years old.

Compared to this age the longest a human has ever lived in 122 years.

Aging is a complex process in trees, they don’t age just like we humans do, we get rincles, white hair etc but they don’t.

In fact they take many more years to just become a tree than we do to become adults.

They naturally have big life span just like everything in this universe. Sun, Moon, Earth everything has age and will be destroyed when time will come. In same ways trees also have age but their age in 1000 of years not like us or any animals.

Lets discuss some scientific reasons as well, why actually this happens.

Growth in Tree is very slow

Trees grow slowly than we humans do. If we compare with some insects then they live only 1-3 days that is why growth and aging process is different in each species. Some of the trees keep growing for about 150 years and they surpass the life span of a human being. They may live for another 100 years but it again depends what kind of tree is that because some trees will live for 1000s of years.

Trees don’t grow forever they also become adults and old just like us and eventually die. One theory suggests that tree height is limited by the way it transports water from it’s root to leaves. Once tree grows older gravity makes it difficult to pump water from it’s root to leaves.

Tree can regrow it’s lost part

Trees are not like us, they don’t need to go to hospital when someone cuts their branch. They can simply regrow a new branch. Plants have meristematic cells and tissue that have ability to divide rapidly through out the life time. These cells help plants grow new branches when conditions are favorable however when conditions are not favorable they just go dormant until it become favorable again.

Apical Meristem surface forms a new meristem which is called leaf primordium where cells and divide and grow into new leaves. Trees can regrow leaves and other damaged organs.

Trees can retain these meristematic cells after each growth cycle and that gives them ability to replace damaged parts in each cycle.

Trees can pause their growth in unfavorable condition

Trees only grow when conditions are favorable and they can pause this growth when it becomes unfavorable until it becomes favorable again.

Trees has Abiotic stress management capability and they can deal with it. When aboitic stress such as soil salinity, extreme temperature and drought happens plants sense these environment changes and respond to it in many manner. For example Arabidopsis OSCA1 is a punitive sensor for hyperosmotic stress such as heat , cold and salt. These sensing capabilities help plants survive even in extreme conditions such drought.

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