An Ancient

Bristlecone Pine, Pinus longaeva.

I moved to Bishop, California last spring and have had the pleasure of exploring the great wild places of the Sierra east side.

We drove to the Methuselah grove one hot summer day and enjoyed a stroll along the ancient woodland. Along a rocky and exposed ridge line, this particular tree caught my eye. Bristlecone Pine trees grow at high elevations and often in nutrient poor dolomite soils. The oldest known living tree dates to more than 5,000 years old! Among their adaptations to harsh environments is the ability to keep only small slivers of wood live – if you look closely, you will see live growth surrounded by dead wood. As far as we could tell, from imploring the trail map, this particular tree may not be among the oldest. But, it certainly has seen many moons!


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