Great Basin Bristlecone Pines are incredible organisms. They are extremely long-lived and are the oldest living, single organisms that we know of. The oldest known bristlecone is roughly 5,000 years old.
In the Basin and Range region we have the Great Basin Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva), which reside in California, Nevada and Utah. The Rocky Mountain Bristlecone Pine (Pinus aristata) is located in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.
Great Basin Bristlecones have dark green, short needles in clusters of five. The needles grow along the length of the branch, giving them a fairly unique look. The cones grow at the ends of the branches. The cones have a thin bristle on each cone scale--which is how they got the name bristlecones. The older bristlecones often have spikey dead tops, bare wood on limbs and trunks, distorted polished limbs and exposed roots.
Great Basin Bristlecones grow only in cold, dry windswept locations at high elevations. The oldest of the bristlecones tend to live in the harshest of conditions. The tough conditions produces wood that is hard, resin-filled and resistant to insects, disease and decay.
Great Basin Bristlecone Pine Slideshow:
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The Basin and Range Project
We love the Basin and Range region and work to promote appreciation and respect for the area. We encourage all users to learn about, play in and protect this amazing resource.
We currently focus primarily on issues in the Nevada region of the Basin and Range, but are looking to expand soon.