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Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest - Methuselah Grove [1]

The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is located at about 10,000 feet elevation in the White Mountains northeast of Big Pine, California.  This valley is home to the Methuselah Grove, part of the Schulman Grove.  It was here in 1957 that Edmund Schulman cored one of the trees later named as Methuselah & under a microscope counted 4,789 rings, making it the oldest known living tree in the world (a bristlecone pine called Prometheus was the oldest until 1964 when it was cut down).  That would make the germination date at 2833 BC.  The tree is still alive today, however its exact location within the grove is not publicly known for protection sake.  Size to a bristlecone does not necessarily mean the tree is older.  At the visitor center, I was shown a six inch bristlecone cross-sectioned round that at eye glance had about 500 tightly compact tree rings, however the guide told me there were 3,500 rings!  One can walk along the Methuselah Trail here & know that nearly every living tree in sight here is around 3,000-4,000 years old w/ the stumps of dead trees very resistant to rotting that some of them have been standing for an additional few thousand years.  The oldest standing stumps within the forest date back 11,000 years.  Baby bristlecone pines have less than 1% survival rate upon germination from the harsh environment & a fully mature tree will replace its needles every 30-40 years, hence why the dolomite-based ground is relatively clear.  The pines themselves are not especially tall in height, maybe 30-40 feet at most.  They are probably the slowest growing organism you will ever encounter.

Copyright: William L
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 13200x6600
Taken: 26/06/2019
Uploaded: 04/07/2019
Updated: 31/12/2019


Tags: ancient bristlecone pine forest; woods; california; white mountains; old; methuselah grove; schulman grove; trail
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