“This 12-meter-long monumental tree has a diameter of 4.5 meters. As it has witnessed all the historical events in time, it is a very precious tree,” Süleyman Çoban, an academic from the Cerrahpaşa Forestry Faculty of Istanbul University, told the Demirören News Agency.
Over the years, the trees start losing the inner parts of their trunks. This is what happened to the millenarian oriental plane.
“The trunk of the tree is emptied out. Although, the main part that feeds a tree is the outer cambium layer,” he said.
The academic highlighted the importance of keeping the monumental tree away from the crowds. “People come here to see the tree. But to protect this tree, we should not allow too many people wandering around it,” he added.
The second oldest monumental tree of the metropolis also stands in the same forest. It is a 600-year-old plane tree, but due to its seven big branches, officials named it the “Octopus plane.”
It has a diameter of 267 centimeters and a height of 60 meters.
Istanbul is home to many other monumental oak, old world yew and cedar trees aged over some centuries that stand in graveyards, forests and mosque courtyards across the city, the expert added.
According to a website promoting tourism in Turkey, the oldest monumental tree in the country is a 4,115-year-old yew tree located in Gümeli Forest of the Black Sea province of Zonguldak. “It is known as Turkey’s and Europe’s oldest tree, the world’s oldest yew tree and one of the five oldest trees living in the world as well,” said goturkeytourism.com.
A 2,700-year-old yew tree from the Mediterranean province of Kahramanmaraş and a 2,334-year-old cedar tree from the southern province of Antalya follow the four-millennium-old yew tree.
Hurriyet Daily News