The Oldest Tree in the World with concentric star trails crowing it. In the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, The Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva) grows at a high elevation of between 9,800 and 11,000 feet (3,000 and 3,400 m) and is protected within the White Mountains by the Inyo National Forest. To guard these ancient specimens further – from trophy seekers, vandals and the overly curious – the trees are unmarked, meaning that only experts know where the oldest can be found.
Trees are powerful wish omens because they are rooted in Mother Earth and their branches embrace the heavens and cosmos. Wrap your arms around the trunk of a full grown pine tree with your romantic partner, if you can both touch each other's hands, hold hands and look up into the skies with the tree and make your wish. The thicker the trunk, the more powerful your wish.
There are only three species of bristlecone pine in the world, and they all grow in the western United States: the Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva, seen in most of these images), which grows in Utah, Nevada and parts of California; the Rocky Mountains bristlecone pine (Pinus aristata), which grows in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona; and the Californian Foxtail Pine (Pinus balfouriana), which can also be found in California.
Methuselah, the world's oldest tree and oldest known living non-clonal organism at 4845 years old. It lives in the White Mountains of Inyo County in eastern California and is named for the figure having the longest mentioned lifespan in the Bible of 969 years.
This magnificent image shows a hauntingly beautiful bristlecone pine captured against the stark majesty of the night sky. Captured at Patriarch Grove in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, there aren't many organisms on earth older than this tree, which makes its juxtaposition with the stars seem particularly fitting.
A bristlecone pine tree from the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains of California. Some of the trees are more than 4,000 years old. A BibArch Photo by John Palmer.