Immortal trees can suffer from stress

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Ginkgo biloba is a real living fossil under the trees. While the world has been subjected to massive climate change and mass extinctions more than once, the ginkgo biloba or the virgin tree is the same as it was tens of millions of years ago. The unique survivability is not the only characteristic of an almost immortal plant – it is known that individual trees of this kind can live for more than 1000 years and sometimes only die after two to three thousand years. In addition, recent studies have shown that the lifespan of a ginkgo tree can be almost unlimited under favorable conditions. The only thing that can overshadow the very long lifespan of trees is stress.

Ginkgo biloba can experience stress

Do plants experience stress?

Aging and death are a natural part of the life of every living thing on the planet, with the exception of some plants such as ginkgo. Despite the fact that the annual rings of these trees become thinner over time, scientists have found a very small difference in the resistance of "older" trees to disease, photosynthesis and seed germination compared to young trees. According to, when examining tissue samples from 600-year-old ginkgo trees, the researchers found that these plants show no signs of aging and deterioration, even at such a respectable age. So if a person's immune system deteriorates with age, the Ginkgo's immune system already looks like a 20 year old at 1000 years of age.

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Ginkgo trees are generally recognized centenarians in the flora of our planet.

According to studies that focus on the vascular system of trees, ginkgo biloba meristem cells are similar to the stem cells that are observed in humans and animals. Experts have found that since a plant's vascular system is a reliable indicator of a tree's continued growth, G. biloba can retain the ability to grow continuously for hundreds and thousands of years. Thanks to this property, the virgin tree successfully avoids aging at the level of the entire plant. In other words, although ginkgo are not immune to death, they are unlikely to die of age. Instead, unique plants usually die from other external factors such as forest fires, diseases and stress.

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Researchers believe that the unique properties of ginkgo allow the plant to show molecular signs of age-related changes just a few hundred years after the most active growth phase. However, scientists still need to figure out exactly what processes are going on with the tree during its long lifespan.