Author: Li Lai-yung and Chou Chu-ying
J Integr Plant Biol 1955, 4 (1): -.
The longevity of fruit trees is of interest both to horticulturists and students of botany as well In southeastern
China, Citrus, Euphoria, Litchi and other fruit trees reaching one hundred years of age, can be found in
different localities. However, records of fruit trees lasting over several centuries are few. The purpose of this
short note is to bring the records up to date on two aged litchi trees in Fukien Province. Both had been
claimed to be over one thousand years old.
It should be noted that the original crowns of both trees are dead, but shoots come out of the trunks
developed and formed the present crowns. One of these trees located on the grounds of Si-Sian monastery,
Foochow city, was according to report, planted one thousand and three hundred years ago by a monk named
Hui-Lin (2). This tree still bears some fruits each year. Our preliminary study (5) of the quality of its fruits,
in 1949, showed that it contains 12.97% total sugar of which 8.67% is reducing sugar and the rest
being inverted sugar. Its ascorbic acid content is 22.64mg. in 100 grams of fresh pulp (see table (1)).
The second tree called Sung Hsiang is located in the Sungs, Family temple yards in Putien City. The tree still
lives and bears some fruits.
Measurements of the Circumference and diameter of several litchi trees of known ages are included for
reference of the age of thess two trees, Though the evidences are not enough to prove the exact age of these
two trees the fact that Litchi chinensis is a long-lived treeseem certain.