One of the oldest trees in Switzerland

I return every year. I grow, I prosper, I paint the spring. I enjoy the wind in my branches. I welcome the rain that waters me. When I lose my fight against the cold, I sacrifice my gold for autumn. Then, I fall and return next spring. I greet you. My name is larch needle.

The forest is the gold of the mountain village Goms. You don’t believe it? Without the woods, life would not have been possible in Goms or even most of the Alps because the forest serves many purposes. It provides heat and warm meals, even today. It saves water and spends it gradually. It protects against falling rocks and avalanches. It is the habitat of wildlife. Today, the woods are a natural wellness oasis for all of us.

700 - 800 YEARS OLD

Obergesteln hosts probably one of the oldest tree in Switzerland. The larch above the village is 7.4 metres in girth, 35 metres in height and roughly 700 - 800 years old. It witnessed Alemanni colonise the valley. It saw the hardships that forced the Walser to leave the region. It saw the arrival of the first train, the first car and the first motorcycle climb the passes. Nowadays, it wonders why people stare into a flat flickering thing.

Because the tree is hollow inside, a core drilling and precise determination of the annual rings are not possible. However, the age has been estimated by comparison with other trees.

Five adults fit in the hollow space inside the tree. It is slightly crooked, though, and strong wind in combination with heavy wet snow could topple it.

Where can you find the tree? Let your children find out for themselves. How to go about it? It is best to ask the locals of Obergesteln. Maybe they will tell you the exact location. Maybe…

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