Alerce Milenario - this larch tree is over 5000 years old

The Alerce Milenario, also known as El Alerce Abuelo (meaning „ The Grandfather Larch“) is not just a colossal specimen of a larch tree but also a strong contender for the title of oldest tree in the world. Located in a ravine within the 137-hectare Alerce Costero National Park in Chile and with a height of an estimated 50 meters, Alerce Milenario is a truly impressive sight.


The tree‘s age is clearly visible, as its crown is shrinking rapidly and parts of the trunk have already died off. Lichens and mosses cover the Alerce Milenario. Only 28% of the tree is still alive, especially in the roots, so great efforts are being made to prevent damage to the remaining living parts. To find out the exact age of the tree, researchers bored a partial hole into it using an increment borer, revealing approximately 2,400 growth rings. Statistical modeling based on data from thousands of trees estimated the Alerce Milenario‘s age at 5,484 years, with the certainty that it is at least 5,000 years old.

Alerce Milenario has become a symbol of conservation and environmental awareness. The awe-inspiring presence of this ancient tree draws tourists and nature enthusiasts from around the world, providing an opportunity for education on the importance of preserving this and many more of Earth‘s natural wonders.