Monday, March 7, 2016

5000 Year Old Trees (and 8 Year Old Me)

When we talked about understanding the age of trees, bristle cone pines were mentioned. I remembered that I actually got to see bristle cone pines somewhere near Mammoth mountain when I was maybe 8 years old. At the time, I did not realize the significance of these trees. I just remember it being extremely cold and windy and thinking they “looked cool.” Now, with more scientific background, I can understand the magnificence of these ancient trees, some of which are nearly 5,000 years old! These gnarled looking trees live so long because of the harsh conditions they grow in. They grow slowly, which makes them develop very dense pest and fungi resistant wood. Their gnarled shapes come from being “eroded” by the elements. This brief article describes some of the oldest bristle cone pines. I have also added a picture of me with my brother and dad from when I visited them (a long time ago). 




-Veronica Russell

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