San Diego, CA
Bristlecone Pine - 'i Am Not Part Of History - History Is Part Of Me'
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© Christine Till - CT-Graphics
Bristlecone pines, growing at high altitudes in the American West, are intriguing and very interesting trees. They can get very old, some of them dating back to over 4,700 years ago.
As here in the White Mountains of Inyo County in eastern California between the Eastern Sierra Nevada and Death Valley, bristlecone pines are found high up in the tree line at the very margin of their habitat, where conditions are the most extreme. Few plants have managed to adapt to this evironment, but the bristlecone pine has. The short growing season seems to allow these pine trees to "stretch" their life span.
Bristlecone Pine trees can remain standing for hundreds of years after death. They fall because the supporting roots finally decay or are undermined by erosion.
The environment is so harsh, that when the bristlecone pine tree dies, it doesn't simply rot away. Instead Bristlecone Pines are petrified and erode away from exposure to wind, water and frost.
March 21st, 2011
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