World Oldest Tree Being Hugged to Death

World Oldest Tree Being Hugged to Death

“One of the world’s oldest and largest trees is being hugged to death,” reports The Australian. The kauri tree, located north of Auckland, New Zealand, is visited each year by thousands of tourists who ritualistically link arms around its huge girth, trampling its base. “The tree is more than 50 metres [160 feet] high but not one of the world’s tallest,” says the newspaper. “However, on volume of timber, it is among the largest.” Known as “the old man of the forest,” it is officially 2,000 years old but is believed to be twice that old. Having survived all those years of natural disasters, pests, and threats of lopping, it may now be hugged to death. Says a conservation officer: “It’s probably dying but whether it is irreversible or not we don’t know.”

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