TREE ON EARTH
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, a Sitka Spruce growing on New Zealand’s southernmost subarctic island, is the loneliest and most remote tree on Earth. Not only is it the only tree on Campbell Island, but the nearest other tree can be found over 200 kilometers away, on the Auckland Islands.
Apart from its reputation as the loneliest tree on Earth, the Sitka Spruce of Campbell Island has a series of other particularities. First of all its shape makes it look more like a giant cauliflower than a tree. This is believed to have been caused by the repeated chopping of its trunk every year, for decades.
You see, before 1958, when the remote meteorologic station on Campbell Island became fully automated, the staff stationed here would cut the top of the Sitka Spruce every Christams and haul it back to the station to use as a Christmas tree. But it somehow survived this yearly maiming, adapting its shape in the process. Luckily, no one has been cutting the tree down over the last six decades and it has grown to a height of over 10 meters.
The Sitka Spruce of Campbell Island was recently in the news for helping researchers confirm that the Earth has entered an entirely new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. They found a radiocarbon spike, also known as a “golden spike”, in a sample collected from the core of the tree, which they say confirms our world has entered a whole new epoch.
Clancy's comment: Another story of survival, eh?