10,900-Year-Old Tree Found Under Glacier

Geologist finds well preserved 10,900 year-old tree that lived for 337 years under mountain glacier

A tree that lived 337 years was found under a retreating glacier in the Swiss Alps.

Morteratsch Glacier where the Larch tree was found. This tree lived for 337 years about 10,900 years ago.

Picture source: By Ximonic (Simo Räsänen) – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia

Because the tree stump was in good condition it had to have lived close to where it was found. If it had been moved a long distance by the glacier it would have been turned into sawdust and toothpicks.

For a long enough time for a 337 year old tree to grow it was warmer than it is now. We know that sea levels have been rising for the last 20,000 years or longer. When it was warmer 10,900 years ago, the seas were not as high as today.

This is a picture of the tree stump. It is in great condition and is 10,900-year-old.

Picture source

Trees have been found under glaciers elsewhere.

Iceland from 3000 years ago.

Alaska from 1000 years ago.

For stumps to be preserved in good condition they had to be covered by glaciers and remain near where they grow.