From centenarians to millennia: are trees really immortal?

800 years, 3000 years, 5000 years… No, it is not a timeline, but the age of certain trees that inhabit our planet. According to these impressive figures, it seems that these plants have finally found the secret of eternal youth. But are they really immortal?

Hard to believe, but some trees know the time of the Egyptian pyramids (about 2700 to 2200 BC). This is the case of the famous Bristlecone pine, located in California. Nicknamed the Methuselah pine, it is considered the oldest living organism on Earth.

But how do these plants manage to live so long? According to Bruno Moulia, a plant biomechanist, some trees have the power to die, be reborn and regenerate almost indefinitely. A peculiarity that distinguishes them from other species, such as humans. You only have to look at their trunk (and especially their rings) to understand how trees have the power to “build on themselves”.

“Trees are not programmed to have an end. They are capable of creating stem cells all the time and are constantly starting new saplings on their own.

Bruno Moulia on France 5

Watch (an excerpt from the documentary “The genius of trees” broadcast on France 5

Large format science: the genius of trees

Trees hold the secret of eternal youth, a dream that man tirelessly pursues. “The genius of trees” available on ►

Posted by France 5 on Thursday 17 February 2022

To watch this documentary in its entirety, head here.

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