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This ancient olive tree on Crete is one of seven olive trees in the Mediterranean believed to be at least 2,000 to 3,000 years old. The Olive Tree of Vouves might be the oldest among them, estimated at over 3,000 years old. It still produces highly prized olives.

A SACRED TREE was known as a “bile” [bʲilʲə] in Old Irish. It was often a sacred tree, of great age, growing over a holy well or fort. Five of them are described in the Dindsenchas, and one was an oak, which not only yielded acorns, but nuts and apples.

The Hardy Tree In the churchyard of St Pancras Old Church in London, hundreds of old gravestones circle an ash tree. In the 1860's an older part of the churchyard was designated to make way for a new railway line. Coffins were removed with care and reburied elsewhere. Some of the headstones were placed in a circular pattern around a young ash tree in the churchyard. Over the decades the tree has, inevitably grown and parts of the headstones nearest the tree have disappeared in to its growth.

Boswellia is a major component in the Ayurvedic medicine system of India. The white oleo-gum resin that comes from this tree is taken and dried into the incense called frankincense. Ancient healers used boswellia to treat conditions like rheumatism, diabetes, fevers, cardiovascular disorders and asthma. It was also consumed in the belief that it would increase longevity.