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Thread: Bristlecone pine?

  1. #1
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    Bristlecone pine?

    This weekend I'm making a trip to the Bristlecone pines in the White Mountains-oldest living thing in the world. I'm very excited to see these beautiful trees. I hope no one would ever try and collect one of these-at least the really old one's that I'm going to see. But, does anyone use these trees for Bonsai?


    I guess they are very slow growers and the young one's don't look like anything special. Just curious if any one has used them?

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    Yenling, I'm very sure that no one would try to collect the ones your going to see as I'm pretty sure they are protected. In the white mountains resides Methuselah currently the oldest non-clonal living organism. This lofty status was bestowed when a graduate student cut down Prometheus at the time they oldest living thing at a estimated 5000 years old.....how would you like to be that guy with that hanging over your head. Both these are/were Bristlecones.

    I have two and there fairly new two me as I have been under the impression that they don't do well out here in the east.....until I saw some mature well established ones in a landscape setting. I truly like the needles of this pine..very different and I can envision great possibilities. So being the adventurous I thought I'd give it a go...perhaps an ole dog an learn a new trick or two.
    Last edited by Tachigi; October 15th, 2009 at 07:13 PM.
    Cheers, Tom

    For those that loath Pseudonyms: Tom Brown

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    Very interesting, I'd love to see pics of yours. Where did you get them?

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    Hi Yenling. Have a great time on your trip! I've seen Bristlecone pines for sale at www.musserforests.com, but they are Pinus aristata. I think the ones that you are going to see are Pinus longaeva.

    Hi Tom. Are your Bristlecones Pinus longaeva? If so, I'd be interested to know your source. I'd like to get a few myself and leave them to my great great great great grandchildren.

    Bob.

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    Bob...your quite right ....both mine are Bristlecones Pinus longaeva. The source was a nursery up near Allentown that we ran across during one of our material scouting trips. The nursery name escapes me at the moment, I'll see if I can't find the receipt and get it to you. These were BB trees so they were fairly well developed and mature.

    I learned something from this thread...that there is two versions of this tree, something I was unaware of...thanks Bob.

    Yenling I'll snap a picture next available chance...I have yet to do so....
    Cheers, Tom

    For those that loath Pseudonyms: Tom Brown

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    Thanks Tom.

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    Wow, I never thought about having two kinds of Bristlecone pines. Thanks for pointing that out.

    I have a little one growing in the ground for 7 years, and it is still only eight inches tall. The growth is unbilievably slow, comparable to a Kingsville boxwood. But it is very compact and healthy. It looks like the needles last for a long time, since I have yet to see one single dead needle on that tree all these years.
    So, I looked at my plant list, and what I have is a Pinus aristata. I wonder what are the differences between the two.

    Yenling,
    Now that you've mentioned your trip, it occurred to me that I have to do one myself, since it was 7 or 8 years ago since I was there. That time it was difficult to drive very deep in the park, since I only had a sedan to drive. Now that I have a new truck designed for off-road, it would be a different story.

    There is a strange thing that happened to me on that day in the White Mountains. It was a grey and gloomy November day, and there was nobody at the visitor center, but myself. Not a single human in the Park. I parked my car and hiked for about 6 hours. Halfway though the hike, it came out of the blue: altitude sickness. I got dizzy and disoriented, breaking in cold sweat. I could barely walk, and I got so lost that it took me a long time before I've found the parking lot, on the way back. I've never had this condition before, or after the trip, even though I have been hiking in high mountains all my life. It was very strange, but the trees and the whole area is amazing. The trees are so beautiful, that one is compelled to take a picture of every single tree, if one is a bonsai enthusiast. I can't wait to do it again, hopefully this time without the altitude sickness.
    Last edited by Attila Soos; October 16th, 2009 at 10:24 AM.

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    For those of you keeping score there are actually THREE "Bristlecone Pine" species--I just did a search on them...:

    Aristata:
    http://www.conifers.org/pi/pin/aristata.htm

    Longeaeva:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristlecone_pine

    Balfouriana:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxtail_Pine

    and these are subdivided into several subspecies depending on specific geographic locations.

    Aristata is particularly common in the nursery trade and apparently is vulnerable to root rot in humid locations. It is especially short lived in those applications--less than 100 years--than some other pines.

    Longeaeva is the longest-lived, but in maturity has "pipecleaner" limbs--which have needles not only on the shoots, but on the stems themselves...

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    Just out of curiosity, which White Mountains are you referring to? I believe there are the White Mountains in New Hampshire, but I didn't think there were Bristlecone Pines there.

  10. #10
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    For those of you keeping score there are actually THREE "Bristlecone Pine" species:

    Aristata:
    http://www.conifers.org/pi/pin/aristata.htm

    Longeaeva:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristlecone_pine

    Balfouriana:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxtail_Pine

    and these are subdivided into several subspecies depending on specific geographic locations.

    Aristata is particularly common in the nursery trade and apparently is vulnerable to root rot in humid locations. It is especially short lived in those applications--less than 100 years--than some other pines.

    Longeaeva is the longest-lived, but in maturity has "pipecleaner" limbs--which have needles not only on the shoots, but on the stems themselves...

    For what it's worth, there are comparable, but not as romantic, long-lived species in the East that make much better bonsai:
    http://www.conifers.org/cu/tax/distichum.html

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