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The Oldest Tree in the World.

With an antiquity rivalling, if not exceeding that of the pyramids of -Egypt, and a reputation scarcely .inferior,, it is remarkable how little notice has been taken of the death of the ctolossal dragon tree of Orotava. The gigantio hoaryheaded, vegetable veteran died almost suddenly a few years ago', and may be said like the deacon's old masterpiece, to have gone to pieces all at once—all at once and nothing first—ju,s.t £s .bubbles when they burst," * After a babyhood of centuries, decades of maturity and a decadence of ages,- it does seem pitiable that the departure of this wonder of fhe world should have evoked little, or no c^piment. When Alonzo de Lugo, the conqueror of Teneriffe, came to Orotava in 1493 he spared the tree, but, scandalised .at the profane mysteries which'had taken place in its interior, he converted its. hollowness into a chapel of rholy\niass.-- Humboldt in 1799 gives its height as " appearing about 50 or 60 feet, and its circum, ferenoe near the roots at 45 fee,t, and the diameter of the trunk at 1Q feet from the ground' is still 12 English feet," and he computed its age a.t 10,000 years. . The opening was "so large'-that a; table was placed in it round which 14 persons could seat Ijhemselves, and a stairqaae in the interior conducted the visitor up to the height whence the branches sprang. Slow, indeed, must have been its growth, for 400 years after the visit of the first navigators Le Dru measured the tree most carefully, proving that during that long period the increase had only been one foot at the base, the other dimensions being practically identical. The old tree, moderately credited with 6000 years of I life, has gone the way of all trees, but most felicitously the Marquisa del Sanzal has planted on its exact site a seedling derived from its most ancient progenitor, and this youngster is now a healthy plant some 4 feet high, looking, in shape only," exactjv like a fine long garret, lightly stuck in the ground by its taper end and surmounted by a crown of sword-shaped leaves,

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Bibliographic details

The Oldest Tree in the World., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2437, 23 May 1890

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The Oldest Tree in the World. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2437, 23 May 1890

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