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Prometheus (recorded as WPN-114) was the oldest known non-clonal organism, a Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva) tree growing near the tree line on Wheeler Peak in eastern Nevada, United States.The tree, which was at least 4862 years old and possibly more than 5000, was cut down in 1964 by a graduate student and United States Forest Service personnel for research purposes.The people involved did not know of its world-record age before the cutting (see below), but the circumstances and decision-making process remain controversial; not all the facts are agreed upon by all involved.

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What is tree ring cross dating

Prometheus was a living member of a population of bristlecone pine trees near the tree line on the lateral moraine of a former glacier on Wheeler Peak, in Great Basin National Park, eastern Nevada.

Wheeler Peak is the highest mountain in the Snake Range, and the highest mountain entirely in the state of Nevada.

The bristlecone pine population on this mountain is divided into at least two distinct sub-populations, one of which is accessible by a popular interpretive trail.

Prometheus, however, grew in an area reachable only by off-trail hiking.

In either 1958 or 1961, a group of naturalists who admired Prometheus's grove gave names to a number of the largest or most distinctive trees, including Prometheus.

Currey originally estimated the tree was at least 4844 years old.A few years later, this was increased to 4862 by Donald Graybill of the University of Arizona's Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research.These ring counts were done on a trunk cross-section taken about 2.5 m (8 feet) above the original germination point of the tree, because the innermost rings were missing below that point.Adjusting Graybill's figure by adding the estimated number of years required to reach that height, plus a correction for the estimated number of missing rings (not uncommon in trees at the tree line), it is probable that the tree was at least 5000 years old when felled. non-clonal) organism at the time, exceeding even the Methuselah tree of the White Mountains' Schulman Grove, in California, though Methuselah was later redated to 4845 years old.making it the oldest known tree in North America and the oldest known individual tree in the world.Whether Prometheus should have been considered the oldest organism ever known depends on the definition of "oldest" and "organism".

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