This Yew tree in Scotland is believed to be around 5000 years old. It is not only the oldest tree but also the oldest living thing in Europe. It stands now behind a protective wall in the cemetary of a church.
The sign below reads...
Rooted in History
"Before you stands Europe´s - and possibly even the world´s oldest living thing. Under the dark veil of needles are two relic trunks of a huge, ancient yew tree. Scholars believe the roots of this great survivor coil back some 5000 years. The markers show you the size fo the original evergreen giant in 1769 when it had a girth of over 56 feet (17m). Sadly, it attracted souvenir hunters who removed large sections. Children then lit fires inside the hollow trunk and funeral
processions passed through its midst. Eventually, this wall had to be built to stop the tree disappearing altogether."
From Here to Eternity
"Before the arrival of Christianity, the yew was known as the "tree of eternity", and it´s easy to see why. At about 500 years old - long after most other trees have died - the yew starts to grow again. This "otherworldly" power meant early peoples revered the yew, and the tree marked their places of worship. Little wonder then that when early Christianity came to Fortingall in the
7th century they decided to build their new church next to the anciant yew."