Tag Archive | Ancient Bristlecone Pines

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~