Driving up to see the Bristlecone Pines over Thanksgiving 2009. My mom is scrapping off the ice build-up on the windshield. The Bristlecone Pine forest is in the background.
The Bristlecone Pines live up there, just below the tree line. They survive in the dry, windy, and cold environment because they grow very slowly and their wood is highly resistant to insects, fungi, and disease. The oldest known tree living right now is 4,767 years old and is named "Methuselah." It grows somewhere up in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, a protected region up in the White Mountains. Its exact location is kept secret to protect it. To give you an idea of how old that actually is, Methuselah was a seedling when the ancient Egyptians began building pyramids. It is still alive today!
A Bristlecone Pine in the White Mountains.
The White Mountain Range is home to the oldest Bristlecone Pines. Scientists who read tree rings have made a continuous record of the pine trees' growth that goes back 10,000 years ago by coring dead trees and alive ones. This website is a great place to learn more about them!
A close-up view of the twisted branches of a Bristlecone Pine in the White Mountains.