Scientists in northern Sweden believe they have discovered the world's oldest living tree, dating back nearly 8,000 years, local media said on Thursday.

A Norway spruce, which was found growing at a height of 950 meters above sea level, is more than two meters (6.5 feet) tall and about 20 centimeters (8 inches) in width.

Shortly after the discovery, scientists sent samples from the tree to a laboratory in Miami in the U.S., and were amazed to learn that the tree was 7,800 years old.

Lars Hedlund, a local councilor from Dalecarlia where the tree was found, told Swedish Radio that the tree was one of the first to grow following the end of the ice age.

The Norway spruce is one of the most common spruces, often used as Christmas trees.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, the oldest living tree is 4,768 years old and is a Great Basin Bristlecone Pine, 'Methuselah,' located in the White Mountains of California.