World, Environment

Defying ages, 2,600-year-old larch tree in Argentina still thrives

'El Alerce Abuelo,' larch tree in Los Alerces National Park, considered to be second-oldest living tree species in world

Muhammed Emin Canik   | 30.11.2021
Defying ages, 2,600-year-old larch tree in Argentina still thrives People look at one of the oldest trees in the world El Alerce Abuelo (Fitzroya Cupressoides), which stands 57 meters tall, and its diameter is 2,8 meters, at Los Alerces National Park located in the Andes in Chubut Province in the Patagonian region of Argentina on November 29, 2021. ( Cristian Kovadloff - Anadolu Agency )


Native to cooler temperatures and wet climate conditions, a gigantic larch tree in Argentina has been flourishing for 26 centuries. 

"El Alerce Abuelo," one of the oldest trees in the world, has grown up to 57 meters (187 feet), with a 2.8 meter (9 feet) diameter.

The larch tree, which faces extinction, has been challenging the ages for more than 2,600 years.

It is conserved in Los Alerces National Park, some 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) from the capital Buenos Aires. The park is located near the city of Esquel in the southern Chubut province.

Native to Argentina and Chile, this larch stands out as a tree that grows 0.6 to 1.6 millimeters annually and lives in areas with abundant rainfall and humidity.

Alicia Elicabe, a tourist guide in Los Alerces National Park, said that the park was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2017.

"This national park was established to protect larch trees. This tree here is 2,600 years old, it is still green, alive and growing. There are also different species of larch trees living for 4,000 years in this park," she said.

"El Alerce Abuelo," she said, is considered to be the second-oldest living larch tree species in the world.

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