Fortingall Yew Tree changing Sex after Thousands of Years
In a shocking turn of events, a British tree has been found changing its sex. The tree, Fortingall Yew, has been undergoing sex change after thousands of years, according to reports. Most parts of the tree are still male, but its branches have started exhibiting characteristics of female Fortingall Yew tree.
As per experts, Fortingall Yew trees are dioecious, which means the trees are one sex or the other. This characteristic allows the trees to produce larger fruits with more seeds. The tree undergoing sex change could be more than
3,000 to 9,000 years old. Exact age of the tree is not known as many parts of the tree have decayed. Currently, scientists are comparing today's trunk size with the size in 1769.
In its entire history, the tree has been known as a male Yew. It has small conical structures. When a male yew reaches maturity, its structures issue clouds of pollen. On the other side, female Yew trees have red berries in winter and autumn.
Botanist Max Coleman said, "It was, therefore, quite a surprise to me to find a group of three ripe red berries on the Fortingall yew this October when the rest of the tree was clearly male". According to Coleman, it is not uncommon to find a tree turning its gender, but it is very rare. The reason behind the transformation is still unknown.
Dr. Coleman thinks environmental factors could be behind the sex change, or it could be the tree's tactic to prolong its life.
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