We, as in America, as a nation, are dicks to trees. It’s totally their fault, standing there all majestic and in our way. Not even moving when they see fires.
Trees are dumbasses, and we shouldn’t mourn them. That’s at least what we tell ourselves, to make us feel better about that whole “we are dicks to trees” thing.
So how much of dicks are we to trees? Well, the oldest known tree lives in the White Mountains. It was measured by Tom Harlan, a researcher at the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona, in 2012.
That tree is, as of the writing of this article, 5,066 years old. And we are such dicks to trees that, out of fear that we’d destroy it out of pure delightful spite, Harlan straight up wouldn’t tell anyone where it was.
And guess what? Harlan died the following year, possibly taking his secret to his grave (okay realistically it was recorded at the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, but it feels cooler to pretend that this 5,000 year old tree is hidden in a random forest like nature’s Ark of the Covenant).
There is a non-zero chance that this tree has since been killed by some dumbass hiker, or some man-made forest fire, because this is America dammit, and we’re real good at killing things.
No, seriously. Three of the oldest trees to have ever graced this planet since the dawn of man have been destroyed by good old American know-how. Let’s talk about dead trees.