Thoughts on the World’s Oldest Living Tree

pinetreeThe world’s oldest known living tree, a shrubby Norway spruce, first took root in the mountains of Sweden at the end of the Ice Age. The thirteen foot tree itself is not ancient, but it is sustained by a vast root system that dates back over 9,000 years. Invisible beneath the rocky landscape, this root system has survived by recreating itself over and over. Every 600 years or so, the trunk dies, and a new trunk grows up from the roots. It may take a different shape or grow in a different place, but it is still part of the same tree.

Promega is moving all our publications to an electronic format, and in many ways this tree encapsulates our vision as we make this transition. Our publications might look different and be found in a different place (the web versus your mailbox), but they will still be supported by the same technical expertise, and bring you informative and helpful content. At the same time, we are limiting our impact on the environment by decreasing our paper and petroleum consumption.

The world belongs to all of us. We are doing our part to keep it healthy, and hopefully that scrappy little spruce tree will live another 9,000 years.

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Kelly Grooms

Scientific Communications Specialist at Promega Corporation
Kelly earned her B.S. in Genetics from Iowa State University in Ames, IA. Prior to coming to Promega, she worked for biotech companies in San Diego and Madison. Kelly lives just outside Madison with her husband, son and daughter. Kelly collects hobbies including jewelry artistry, reading, writing, photography and knitting. She would like to be an avid runner, as evidenced by her growing collection of running gear and her single half-marathon finishers t-shirt.

2 thoughts on “Thoughts on the World’s Oldest Living Tree

  1. There might be hope for the scrappy little spruce tree in Sweden to live another 9000 years.

    One of the many impressive things about this country where I now live the majority of my professional life, is that there are statistics available for nearly everything and so you find at http://www.scb.se also statistics on paper production.

    We’re observing that from the peak paper production year 2006 with over 12 million metric ton it is declining to 11,6 in 2008.

    The concern is still that despite this decline paper production the usage of paper for printing shows a decline in wood free printing paper whereas the wood containing printing paper is increasing.

    This may be due to Gudrun the most heavy storm so far in Sweden that felled in 2 days (2005) as much trees as the entire annual wood production of Sweden. There was a lot of wood to process – in 9 months time sawmills had 18 months of timber on stock. There was a need for 300 million seedlings…

    It is a tough life being a spruce!

  2. Hi Patrick, That is an amazing amount of wood! I hadn’t heard about the storm. I hope that the statistics change as the wood/paper supply from the storm is depleted. Are you seeing a big push for products with recycled content? That is very popular in the U.S. right now. Thanks for your comments.

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