Bristlecone Pines: Alive and Dead

Bristlecone Pines: One Alive, One Dead

It may not look like the tree on the left is still alive, but it is still hanging on. I liked the pattern these two created on the ridge line against the clouds.

Bristlecone Pines

Bristlecone Pines I

The Ancient Bristlecone Forest is in the White Mountains north of Death Valley at an elevation of about 10,000′. The oldest living tree is located in the area (exact location withheld to protect it from the stupid). I find the bristlecones to be amazing in their forms and awe inspiring in their adaptability. The variation in growth pattern is pretty incredible and extremely photogenic. If I seem excessive in my description, I would suggest that you visit them and see if you can remain unmoved. They are truly a marvel.

Bristlecone Pine II

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Area View

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Area View

The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is located in the White Mountains just north of Death Valley National Park. The Bristlecones here include the oldest living trees on the planet. They are only found at about 10,000 ft (3048 m) and above in a few isolated locations. There are a number of nature trails providing paths through the forest … the erosion caused by human presence off the trails results would result in many additional tree losses … natural loss of soil being one of the main causes of Bristlecone mortality. This view is looking SE across the Owens Valley (unseen) towards the Sierra Nevada.


Old Bristlecone
Middle Age Bristlecone
Bristlecone Stumps

The miners in the White Mountains around the turn of the 20th Century cut down these bristlecones that were hundreds of years old … or more. They used them for mine timbers and to build cabins for the few months of the year they could live at 10,000 feet. A complete travesty. Thoughtless carnage in the pursuit of a hopeless dream. We can just be happy that there was no large seam of high quality ore. If that had happened, the bristlecones would likely have all been logged.

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