The Methuselah Grove~

The Great Basin Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in The White Mountains of California/Nevada have the world’s oldest living non-clonal organisms, ancient bristlecone pine trees. Non-clonal means these trees are not genetic duplicates of a parent organism, but are in fact, original organisms.
The oldest known tree in the basin is 5,065 years old and was germinated in 3051 BC. This tree started growing before the first pyramid was built-in Egypt.

Another, Methuselah, is 4,848 years old.

The White Mountains run parallel to the Sierras in the west and Death Valley in the east.

White Mountain is a sister peak to Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain in the continental US. When you hike here you look to your left at almost eye level with Mt. Whitney, and to your right at the lowest non-submerged place in North America, Death Valley.

In the dolomite covered White Mountains these ancient organisms continue to thrive in white powdery soil that was once an ancient sea bed.

When you touch the non-bark covered cambium layer of these ancient ones, it is like touching living stone. Something you have never felt before.

The bristlecones survive possibly because they live in an isolated hostile location, which makes them strong, and creates the almost impervious density of their stone-like structure.
To say that I was blown away by being here is a huge understatement.
I am hoping the lack of protection afforded the ancient ones is purposeful. They are hard to get to, even harder to hike to, and not very many people know about them. Plus, for much of the year, due to winter snow, they are inaccessible.
There is nothing here but these living fossils.
I never knew about these trees, even though I have driven near them all my life to go skiing, and now I can’t even imagine the world without them.
Cheers to you from the ancient ones~

359 thoughts on “The Methuselah Grove~

  1. What an interesting learning experience. I love trees and am always on the hunt for intriguing ones. Thank you for sharing your tree safari. I thoroughly enjoyed the journey. ❤


  2. Wow, I had no idea about them either and feel happy that they are FAR from the madding crowds. I will never see them, I am not a hiker but like you it feels comforting to know they exist and are alive. And that interesting correlation etween hardship and longevity. A very inspiring and informative post – thank you… c


    • Yes, fascinating isn’t it. They survive possibly because the hostility of their environment makes them impervious and strong. If we plant them in our garden they will die of comfort ie., root rot. It’s interesting to think about the analogy with humans. We die sometimes of over comfort too, ie., couch potato life styles, over eating of high caloric “comfort” foods, over imbibing etoh, exposure to emf’s and chemical by products etc etc, all designed to make us more comfortable.


  3. This was a touching tribute to the origins of an ancient “tribe” of trees, Cindy. I absolutely loved the history and scientific details~ you could tell they moved you very much! xo hugs!


  4. Those are truly strange trees. At first, we thought that they were previously hit by lightning or something, which explains the blackened bark. Only when we read the entire post did we realize that the methuselahs were really intact.

    We have a similar grove like that, consisting of trees that died because they are near a natural solfatara; they were suffocated by the sulfur.


  5. ¡Qué árboles tan impresionantes! Seguramente se han conservado gracias a estar en una zona inaccesible. Si fuese una zona de fácil acceso el turismo se los habría tragado. Mejor que sigan aislados y así seguirán siendo unos supervivientes. Abrazos Cindy, y sigue disfrutando de estas maravillas ❤


  6. Cindy, this was a great post. I got so excited I had to see exactly where these trees were and was surprised to find it was at Big Basin National Park. I had seen the cut off to this park off the 15 freeway but didn’t really know what it was all about. As a result of your post I have been exploring it online and my husband and I are talking about when we can get out there. Thanks again, Jan


    • My brother is going now too! I think it is important for conservation minded people to visit these trees. Once you experience them, you will be emotionally invested in protecting them. There are other bristlecone pine forests. The oldest trees are not in the Natonal Park (go figure). The Methusula Grove is in the White Mountains in California. We accessed The Grove from off of the 395 near Big Pine California. Google Ancient Bristlecone Forest and you will find information on this grove and how to reach it. I do hope you go and post about your experience of this sacred place~


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  8. What amazing trees. Even though we don’t understand it, in our short lives, they live in a way quite different from us. Their thoughts would be worth knowing, with such long lives. Perhaps we wouldn’t be capable of using advice they gave us. Their best protection is that no clever person has thought of a use for them.


    • And so far they have not inconvenienced humans by growing somewhere we want to develop, or having wood we want to harvest. I just heard the entire Washington state wolf pack is going to be shot for eating cows. God forbid they eat cows. We want to eat these cows. Most humans don’t change, unfortunately.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, that is sad about the wolves. I have some sympathies for ranchers because they operate on a margin. So many people take a slice of the beef profit. Any loss of stock eats up the margin that they keep as profit. I was staying in a B&B in Scotland once, and the owner’s cow died. Fell in a stream, broke a leg and drown. She was devastated. Wept and howled. I feel like weeping and howling for the wolves, too, though. It’s a hard old world.


    • I love bloggers for this same reason! I always see, learn, or read something new and wonderful from bloggers. When you think about this for awhile you realize this doesn’t happen in any other published media forum, which is why I love bloggers and blogging! ❤


  9. Bonjour CINDY super ces photos dont les arbres peuvent avoir beaucoup de formes

    je passe comme promis sur ton joli blog

    Je te dépose un rayon de lumière

    tendresse et bonheur

    Ton blog j’aime le feuilleté lire tes écris , tes poèmes tes montages ou autres toujours un énorme plaisir de découvrir tes nouveautés

    Passe une très belle journée que ce soit en famille enfants ou entre amis

    Bisous amitié


    Liked by 1 person

  10. Coucou Mon AMIE CINDY

    Je viens te chanter la ballade des bisous
    je viens faire une ballade des bisous

    Pour te montrer que je ne t’oublie pas

    1)Mon premier sera un bisou tout rond
    Juste sur le front

    2)Mon deuxième sera un bisou tous doux
    Sur les deux joues

    3)Mon troisième sera bisou délicieux
    Sur tes deux yeux

    4)Mon quatrième sera un bisou fripon
    Sur ton menton

    5)Rien de plus beau que de recevoir quelques bisous


    Je pense que tu auras appréciée (é)

    J’aime plaisanter ne soit pas vexée (é)
    Pour que ta SOIREE soit plus que reposante



  11. I think the wood of these ancient trees is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. So glad they are hard to get too. May they stand forever.


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