During Census of ancient as well as endangered trees in China, a tree believed to be more than 1300 years old was found in Hunan Province, Central China, an official said. The ancient tree named Taxus Chinensis was identified in Shunhuangshan National Forest Park in Dong’an County in the Yongzhou city.
It was reported that the gigantic tree is nearly 35 metres tall and has a diameter of 2.2 metres.In addition, the tree of Taxus Chinensis was surrounded by two other trees on both the sides. According to country’s forestry bureau, the tree has lived for nearly 13 centuries and villagers have done their best to preserve the ancient trees.
The age of the tree was determined by a scientific method called tree-ring dating where the age of a tree is determined by analysing the patterns of tree rings also called growth rings.
Taxus Chinensis is a species of yew and commonly called the Chinese yew. A large, ornamental evergreen shrub or tree of the yew family (Taxaceae), widespread in China at elevations up to 900 meters (3,000 feet). The tree is up to 14 m (46 ft) tall and wide and bushy when cultivated. The leaves are up to 4 centimeters (11⁄2 inches) long—broader than those of most other yews—and often end in a very small, sharp point. The underside of each leaf has two broad yellow stripes and is densely covered with minute projections. This plant is used against cancer. Paclitaxel or Taxol can be produced from the tree. The tree can also be used in many other ways and is under special protection of national and international laws.
According to experts, the ancient tree has existed for more than 2.5 million years. Since, taxol is produced from the tree of Taxus Chinensis, the tree has seen mass destruction and a large number of trees have been cut by the humans to treat cancer.