The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest Snow and Landscape Research WSL

A witness of the first forest after the last ice age in Zurich

This pine was buried on the foothills of the Uetliberg 13,132 years ago at an age of 259 years.

In 2013, construction workers brought this and 256 more stumps to light. They were part of the first forest after the last Ice Age covered Zurich.

Dating accurately to the year over millenia

Such discoveries from the Zurich area provide us with unique insights into the time after the last ice age. The 257 pines lived over a period of 2,500 years.

The Zurich tree-ring chronology goes back almost 14,000 years, when the first forests resettled after the retreat of the glaciers. Together with oak and pine chronologies from Germany, it enables us to draw conclusions about the climate and environmental conditions over thousands of years.