The oldest tree in the world grows in Sweden and is 9,500 years old.

How old can a tree become? Well, at least more than 9,500 years old because in Sweden there is a tree that is about that old! The tree - a Norwegian spruce (fir tree), which we use as a Christmas tree - was discovered in 2004 by scientists from Umeå University.

spruce tree

Who sees the tree will not be impressed at all, because the tree is not very high and the appearance is not really impressive. That is because the special part of the tree is underground: it is mainly the roots that are already more than 9,500 years old. Somewhere after the last ice age this fir has started to grow.

But there is something else that makes this tree so special: it has the ability to clone itself. Usually such a Norwegian spruce fir is up to 600 years old, but this unique tree is able to grow a new tree when the trunk dies from the same roots.

Meet the oldest tree in the world: Old Tjikko

The old fir tree has also been given a name - Old Tjikko - which refers to the dog of the man who discovered it. Here it is: 

oldest tree in the world

If you want to see Old Tjikko yourself, then you have to go to Dalarna province in the middle of Sweden. The old fir tree can be found in Fulufjället National Park, on the slope of Mount Fulufjället. It's quite a hike, but the surroundings are amazing. 

oldest tree in the world

Grow a spruce tree in your own garden

It might be a bit ambitious to have your own fir become 9,500 years old. But if you plant a small tree, or even start with a seed, you can enjoy it for the rest of your life!

Fir tree

Put the spruce in a nice spot, both sun and shade allowed. They like a combination of moist and acidic soil. And it is recommended to give them proper and balanced nutrients that have been developed specifically for trees. 

Oh yeah, singing Christmas carols in December and knitting a scarf for your fir tree can’t hurt too, of course.

Have fun gardening!