The oldest living thing in Kentucky has been alive since the 1600s

Anita Durairaj

Humans tend to be lucky if they live to be a hundred years old.

On the other hand, there are some living organisms that enjoy a longer life than humans. These include giant tortoises (~180 years), the bowhead whale (~200 years), a Greenland shark (~400 years), a quahog clam (~507 years), and possibly many others including marine organisms and trees.

According to some sources, the oldest living thing on the planet is a tree located in the White Mountains of California. This tree is estimated to be more than 5000 years old.

Kentucky also has a tree that is estimated to be the oldest living organism in the state. The tree is located in the Floracliff Nature Sanctuary in the Inner Bluegrass Region of Kentucky. It is a chinkapin oak tree that has been documented and studied by scientists.

Tree-ring analysis dates the tree to the year 1611 which means that it predates Daniel Boone and is currently about 400 years old.

The tree has even been given a name, Woody C. Guthtree and it has its own Facebook page.

Old trees contain genetic structures tied to the forest where they grow. These genes are thought to be dynamic and can change depending on the environment.

Thus, if Woody C. Guthtree could talk, it could provide much information about the environmental history of the Inner Bluegrass Region. It could also provide scientists with information about the climate and any potential large-scale disturbances in the area.

For now, Woody C. Guthtree remains a Kentucky treasure and one that should be cherished for as long as it lives.

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