5. The oldest living organism in NYC exists in Alley Pond Park
The Alley Pond Giant, a tulip tree in Alley Pond Park, is believed to be over 350 years old, which would make it the oldest living organism in the city. According to a sign by the tree, “It was standing tall when General George Washington passed close by in 1790 on a tour of Long Island, and it was most likely a young tree when the Dutch East India Company sent a group of Walloon families to Manhattan in 1624.” The tree has survived through most of New York’s storied history, from the Revolutionary War to the Great Depression to Hurricane Sandy.
Tulip trees can live upwards of 600 years and can tower over the rest of the forest with record heights reaching 150 feet. The Alley Pond Giant now stands at around 133 feet, though, there is a rival tree of the same species found in Clove Lakes, Staten Island, that stands at 119 feet. The tree may have even been around when the Matinecock tribe called the area home.