Old Tree Deaths

Do trees die af old age the same way other living things do? I know that the oldest tree currently living is Methuselah and I remember reading somewhere that the oldest redwoods that have been found are around 4000 years old. However, I can’t seem to find any info about ancient trees like redwoods or sequoias dying of old age. Do they? If so, what are the upper age limits of these trees?

I don’t think that they do. We had an arborist out a while back too look at a few cottonwoods. Cottonwoods are notoriously “short lived”, but according to him the trees didn’t have a life span as we think of it. Instead, they become more susceptible to disease, ants and the like after they grow to a mature size. I assume that this has more to do with the fact that the tree has stopped growing than it has to do with any sort of internal clock.

They die of old age like people do. People don’t have clocks that run out either.

Different trees, of course, have different life spans, but old age indirectly does them in.

There are even trees that die of ‘old age’ and in doing so benefit younger trees in their passing.


It should be noted that some species of trees have incredibly long life spans relative to ours, but, like us, as they age they face challenges to their health directly related to their age. Ultimately thier age and growth has such a negative consequence that it does them in.

The Master speaks.

In short, they are unable to turn over a new leaf.