Do trees ever die of old age?



  1. 0 Votes

    I had a hard time finding reputable sources to answer this question, but according to the site below that focuses on Redwood trees, it looks like no, trees do not die of old age; rather they die of diseases, fungi, insect attacks, as a result of climate change, and in forest fires and storms (as well as being intentionally removed through human effort). If all these factors were removed, a tree could theoretically live forever, if enough light, nutrients, and water were available to it.

  2. 0 Votes

    Then again, does anything die of old age?  The phrase “old age” is sort of a generic term for common, age-related deaths, but what is written on a death certificate matters because affects statistics, which affect health research and the distrubution of money to which causes.  It’s an issue the World Health Organization will be tackling this year actually, the fate of the phrase “old age.”  Disease, muscle strength, organ failure, inability to absorb nutrients from food, are all causes of death commonly referred to as “old age.”  The truly mysterious and rare old age deaths that seemingly have no cause may have a more specific name in time, and as our knowledge grows.

    Also, the second link is a somewhat related and fascinating article on why evolution has not selected creatures to live forever.

  3. 0 Votes

    The oldest known tree  living is a 4,800-year-old Great Basin Bristle-cone pine in Nevada. Though “old age” isn’t necessarily a cause of death, trees do have “average” life spans. For instance olive trees live around 500 years.

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