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Twisted And Gnarled Bristlecone Pine Tree Trunk Above Crater Lake - Oregon
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© Christine Till - CT-Graphics
Bristlecone pines are not just found in the White Mountains of eastern California. They grow in many places in the western USA at high altitudes, and in more "favorable" environments at lower elevations where they grow more rapidly but do not achieve their legendary age or fascinating twisted shapes.
At the Crater Lake caldera, whitebark pine may have been the first tree to colonize the pumice slopes of old Mount Mazama. However, the distribution of the slow growing bristlecone pine somewhat overlap that of the whitebark and occupy what would often seem to be the latter's place forming the edge of timberline.
The Bristlecone pine imparted much knowledge to humans. Information gained by studying this significant tree added to the knowledge of carbon dating and climate data. These trees are protected on federal lands so that we will not lose the lessons we may have yet to learn.
March 21st, 2011
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