Bristlecone Pine Photographs

Bill S

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I am jelous of your trip, very nices views. Great shots.

Thanks for the look.
 

Klytus

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One thing i would like to ask is about the stratigraphy of the area.

I was reading that much of their habitat is dolomite and sandstone,are these found as distinct stratification layers or perhaps alternating?

The reason i ask is to get a better understanding of how these pines live,do they do better on the dolomite or the sandstone or maybe in a scree of both?
 

fredtruck

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Sandstone, limestone and shale are the major stone layers. I don't believe there is any dolomite there at all. There is a lot of iron, so the sandstone is red.

I really think you'll find bristlecones do well at most elevations, because you see them at all elevations in Cedar Breaks, but the very old trees seem to need a very harsh environment to attain old age, as the more forgiving climate at lower elevations do not produce such spectacular ancient trees. Lower, bristlecones fall prey to insects and disease, limited space because there are many of them, etc. Forest fires are always a problem. And, bristlecones look more like people expect pine trees to be.
 

Klytus

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It's difficult to draw information from the literature on these trees in habitat and apply it to Bonsai.

Temperature,elevation and precipitation is something the gardener is stuck with.

In the wild these trees are stuck with that too but also they have local mineralogy to contend with.

As far as i can tell granite is a problem for Longaeva,though the literture i read thus far does not seem clear if the pH of granite is the problem or is lack of water permiability or indeed it's chemical makeup is the problem.

Huangshan Pines apparently grow ino the granite using root secretions to dissolve the rock but those are two,sometime three,needled.

And genetically separated by a good few years.

Indicated for long life seems to be a prevalence of iron,calcium and magnesium.
But long life and speed of growth is needed.
Not easy to transfer sparse information on soil types and other growth factors to the pot.

Longaeva are rather scarce too,even as a seed.

I was forgetting humidity and solar radiation.
 
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fredtruck

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There is no humidity at all in the Utah high desert, which is where Cedar Breaks is. And, there is a lot of radiation 2 miles high.

The thing is, with bonsai and bristlecone pines, I don't believe there is a way to recreate a thousand years or so of struggle and injury in a human lifetime with a tree you grow or collect. You may be able to simulate it.

This book, The Bristlecone Book, points out the importance of injury in the development of the incredible aspect of these trees. All start out as single trunk trees, but their response to serious injury is to start another trunk. You should read the book because there are other qualities these trees have that can be simulated using a pine or juniper or even a spruce, but none of these trees have the same combination of defensive mechanisms that will give them the whole range of growth possibilities that the bristlecone does.
 

Attila Soos

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The thing is, with bonsai and bristlecone pines, I don't believe there is a way to recreate a thousand years or so of struggle and injury in a human lifetime with a tree you grow or collect. You may be able to simulate it.

I agree, there is a fundamental difference between growing bonsai from seed, in a pot, and a tree growing in harsh environment in nature. In bonsai culture, when growing a young seedling, fast growth is a requirement. As soon as the seedling stops growing, death follows. You cannot grow a seedling slowly, as it happens with a pine that grows on a rock in high elevation. It's impossible to replicate those conditions, and besides, you don't have 500 years to wait for the result anyway.

In nature, there are years when the tree almost completely stops growing, due to droughts and other factors. In a bonsai pot, if your tree stops growing for a year or two, you are almost assured that the tree is slowly dying.

No, you need to induce fast growing, and then create character by means of pruning, carving, wiring, etc. The result looks similar, but the path is very different.
 
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Brian Van Fleet

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Incredible photography! Excellent content! Thanks for posting the link!
 

Klytus

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The book arrived,Mr Lanner looks pleased with his uniquely American contribution to Natural History.

However,another book could be written on the lowland Bristlecones of the world.
 

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