The Oldest Tree on the Planet
The bristlecone pines, the oldest trees on Earth, are a small group of pine trees, that are thought to reach an age far greater than that of any other single living organism known, up to nearly 5,000 years. Image credit: flickr
This prehistoric tree was already a more than a century old when the first pyramid was built in Egypt.
The Oldest Tree
The bristlecone pine (family Pinaceae, genus Pinus, subsection Balfourianae) has an intrinsically low rate of reproduction and regeneration, and it is thought that under present climatic and environmental conditions the rate of regeneration may be insufficient to sustain its population. The species are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list. Bristlecone pines are protected in a number of national parks such as the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains of California and the Great Basin National Park in Nevada, where cutting or gathering wood is prohibited.
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