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Ancient yews now younger.

Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:11 pm
by Durotrigian
According to a recent news item in the Times, scientists have revised downwards the optimistic ages attributed to some famous yew trees.

Quoting the Royal Forestry Society’s Quarterly Journal of Forestry, a new system of ageing ancient yews has led experts to conclude some venerable British specimens are thousands of years younger than previously thought.

The Llangernyw yew in Conwy was thought to be 4,000 - 5,000 years old but now is estimated to be only 1,600 years of age.

Similarly, the Fortingall yew in Perthshire is not as was claimed, 5,000 years old but is about 2,000 years old although still the oldest yew in Britain.

The Ankerwycke yew at Runnymede is now believed to be Norman not Roman, first shooting 900 years ago rather than 2,500 years age as previously thought.

According to the Times article, this rethinking of the ageing method has been created by Peter Thomas a plant ecologist at Keele and Harvard Universities, Toby Hindson a founder member of the Ancient Yew Group and Andy Moir from the Institute for the Environment at Brunel University. The research is based on extensive studies of ancient yews in Sussex.

Re: Ancient yews now younger.

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:32 am
by Geoff Stuttaford
I wonder what method they use to fetermine the age of very old trees. In the case of yews, I usually ask them how old they think yjey are :)