A mighty Boab tree in the town of the northern town of Broome, Western Australia.
Every boab tree is unique. They have character and personality as you would expect of such an ancient creature.
Some individual boab trees are 1500 years old and older, which makes them the oldest living beings in Australia, and puts them amongst the oldest in the world. Aboriginals used the giants as shelter, food and medicine.
The Great Basin Bristlecone Pines, or Pinus longaeva, is a long-living species of tree found in the higher mountains of the southwest United States. Bristlecone pines grow in isolated groves in the arid mountain regions of six western states of America, but the oldest are found in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains of California.
These trees have a remarkable ability to survive in extremely harsh and challenging environment. In fact, they are believed to be the some of oldest living organisms in the world, with lifespans in excess of 5,000 years.
Bristlecone pines grow just below the tree line, between 5,000 and 10,000 feet of elevation. At these great heights, the wind blows almost constantly and the temperatures can dip to well below zero.
The soil is dry receiving less than a foot of rainfall a year. Because of these extreme conditions, the trees grow very slowly, and in some years don’t even add a ring of growth. Even the tree’s needles, which grow in bunches of five, can remain green for forty years.
Trees have been around for about 370 million years, and as you can from these incredible pictures, there’s a good reason why they’ve survived for so long.
Whether they’re growing in the middle of gale-force winds, on the tops of rocky platforms, inside concrete tunnels, or even growing out of each other, trees know how to survive in places that few living organisms can, which explains why the planet is host to around 3 trillion adult trees that cover an estimated 30% of the earth’s land.
Considering that plants produce the vast majority of the oxygen that we breathe, we should all think ourselves very fortunate that trees are as resilient as they are.
We wouldn’t even be here if they weren’t. Thanks guys! (h/t: twistedsifter)
Fine art series winner – Established Supply Corridor from the Botanical Inquiry series
‘Botanical Inquiry is a series of photographic dioramas that shuffle nature, geography and physics into familiar but fictional environments,’ says Australian photographer Daniel Shipp.
‘In these compositions the physical characteristics of the unremarkable plants I have collected become storytelling elements which, when staged against the backdrop of common urban environments, explore the quietly menacing effect that humans have on the natural world’