50 Interesting and Gripping Facts about Trees

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1Woody trees

Woody trees

When trees started evolving and growing throughout the world, wood was not biodegradable until a fungus figured out how to rot them 40 million years later.

2. Olive trees are resistant to disease, droughts, and even fire. In fact some olive groves can be several thousand years old.

3. About 4 billion American chestnut trees once blanketed the east coast of USA, spreading in dense canopies from Maine to Mississippi and Florida. They all disappeared by the 1950s due to an invasive species of fungus that has made them extinct.

4. There is a bizarre forest in Poland named Crooked Forest where pine trees grow with a 90 degree bend at the base of their trunks, which are most likely caused by some form of human intervention. Nobody actually knows for sure how it was done and what the motive behind it was.

5. Trees can tell if deer are trying to eat them. Due to their ability to detect deer saliva, trees defend themselves by producing excess acids that cause their buds to taste bitter so that the deer will lose interest and leave them alone.

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6Bristlecone pine

Bristlecone pine

In 1964, dendrochronologist Donald Currey got his tree corer stuck in a bristlecone pine and retrieved it by cutting it down. After counting its rings, he realized he had killed the oldest recorded tree in the world.

7. 350 million years ago, when the newly evolved trees were just 1 foot in height, the landscape was dominated by giant 20-foot tall mushrooms.

8. A formation of larch trees in the shape of a swastika was discovered in Germany in 1992. The formation, only visible in the fall, went unnoticed for 60 years. After that discovery, other forest swastikas were found in Germany and beyond.

9. Albino redwood trees cannot produce chlorophyll. However, they can still survive because they fuse their roots with the roots of other redwood trees and live as parasites.

10. Mangrove trees thrive in saltwater. They filter out about 99% of the salt with their roots and are literally desalination plants.

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11Artificial Christmas trees

Artificial Christmas trees

Artificial Christmas trees were invented by a British toilet brush company in the 1930s. The company used the same machinery and bristles to make the trees as they used to make their toilet brushes.

12. Scientists have successfully genetically engineered American chestnut trees to resist the blight that annihilated them, bringing back a species from functional extinction.

13. For at least several hundred years, people have been practicing the art of grow trees and their roots into bridges, chairs, “people trees”, ladders, fences, jungle gyms, tunnels, etc. It’s known as “Tree Shaping.” Theoretically, it can even be used to grow homes.

14. A poisonous tree and its antidote often grow so close together that their roots intertwine. The Chemchem tree excretes a poisonous black sap that raises a blistering rash on the skin while its counterpart, the Chaka tree, offers chemical compounds that can counteract the rash.

15. Severing the limb of a Bloodwood tree triggers the same type of response you'd see if you severed a human limb. The damage causes the release of a deep crimson sap that looks alarmingly like human blood. Its sole purpose is to coagulate and seal wounds, but has many other medical uses as well.

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16Bristlecone pine

Bristlecone pine

A 5064-year-old pine tree in California is the oldest known individual living tree in the world. Its exact location is kept secret. It was alive while Stonehenge was under construction and around the time that humans first developed writing system.

17. A Norway Spruce in Sweden named Old Tjikko is approximately 9550 years old. However, it is not the oldest individual living tree because it has regenerated new trunks, branches and roots over millennia rather than being an individual tree of great age.

18. Older bigger trees share nutrients with smaller trees, which later repay them back when they have developed.

19. Pine trees scatter their needles across the forest floor to make it easier for fires to burn all of the other trees. Pine is fire resistant so it survives.

20. During Hiroshima, the Gingko trees that were growing 1 to 2 km from the explosion of the atomic bomb survived the blast and quickly became healthy again. Those trees were some of the few living things that survived and are still alive today.

21Aluminum Christmas trees

Aluminum Christmas trees

Aluminum Christmas trees dropped in popularity after their negative portrayal in “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

22. Yew trees can live to more than 1000 years, are often found in graveyards, and have long been associated with death. They're deadly poisonous to humans, with no known antidote. However, the tree is used to make taxanes, which are used to fight cancer.

23. The Rainbow Eucalyptus trees in Hawaii have natural rainbow-colored bark.

24. To stop the theft of trees in public parks near Christmas time, some cities spray would-be Christmas trees with fox urine. It freezes and is odorless outdoors, but would be unbearable and irremovable if taken into someone's home.

25. The wood of tabebuia trees is more dense than water and naturally shares the same fire resistance rating as industrial steel.

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