forest bathing

If you thought the hundred-year-old oak in your city park was impressive, you won’t believe how long some trees can survive! Many of these ancient trees are located in or near popular tourist destinations, so you can even go visit them if you like.


Thought to be the oldest living tree in the world, the Biblically-named bristlecone pine is located in the White Mountains of California. It is thought to be nearly 5,000 years old!

Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi.

This fig tree began as a sapling from the famous Bodhi tree, under which Buddha sat as he attained enlightenment. At over 2,300 years old, the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is the oldest-known human planted tree in the world. We know this because the exact date of planting was recorded in 288 BC.

Gran Abuelo.

At over 3,600 years old, Gran Abuelo (Spanish for “great grandfather”) is South America’s oldest tree. You can visit the ancient cypress at the Parque Nacional Alerce Costero in Chili.

The Three Sisters Cove.

The Black River Preserve of North Carolina features hundreds of ancient bald cypress trees, one of which is over 2,600 years old. The swamp isn’t easy to travel, however, so plan for a kayaking trip!

Mongarlowe Malee.

Located in New South Wales, there are only six of these critically endangered trees left in the world. The oldest individual is estimated at 3,000 years old, but some disagreement remains among botanists. Two other specimens are thought to have split from the original rootstock. If this is true, their age of 13,000 years would make them the oldest living trees on earth.

Fortingall Yew.

At an estimated age of 3,000 years, this yew tree in Perthshire, Scotland is thought to be the oldest tree in Britain.

General Sherman.

The Sequoia National Park in California is home to General Sherman, a giant Sequoia tree thought to be between 2,300 and 2,700 years old. Its other claim to fame is that, at a height of 275 feet and a diameter of 36 feet at its base, General Sherman is believed to be the largest tree in the world.

Gingko trees.

Ginkgos are believed to be the oldest surviving species of tree and are renowned for their brilliant golden foliage. The species itself dates back to before dinosaurs roamed the Earth! One of the oldest individual Gingko trees resides at the Gu Guanyin Buddhist Temple in the Zhongnan Mountains of China. Each year, tourists flock to visit the 1,400-year-old specimen.

The trees listed above are just a small sampling of some of the oldest trees in the world. Check out the list Wikipedia to find dozens more, many of which are located in the United States.