Dendrophiles listen up! You may have been passing the oldest tree in NYC, estimated to be around 350 years old, on your Sunday park strolls without even knowing it. According to NYC Parks, the city’s oldest tree—and what possibly may be NYC’s oldest organism all together—can be found in Alley Pond Park.
Topping out at 133.8 feet, with a girth of 18.6 feet, this tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) was just a sapling in the 17th century. For context, the Thirty Year War was one of the most significant events during that time period. At the time, Manhattan was still known as New Amsterdam and was being colonized by the Dutch, along with 32 Belgian Huguenot families.
“It is perhaps one of the last witnesses to the entire span of the city’s history, from the time of tiny Dutch settlements to that of a modern metropolis,” NYC Parks writes about the tree.
Experts predict that the three century-old tulip poplar could live give or take 100 years from now. The species is known to survive up to 600 years and grow taller than 150 feet.
Visitors are welcome in Alley Pond Park daily from 6am-9pm. It’s even home to the city’s first public high ropes adventure course!