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Bristlecone Pine

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A gnarled bristlecone pine in the Mount Goliath Area, Colorado.
Bristlecone pine

The Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine is famous for its longevity. The oldest known living specimen, near Pikes Peak, is 2500 years old.

Native to Colorado, Bristlecone pines grow in some of the state’s driest, rockiest areas at about 11 thousand feet. This harsh environment allows the trees to add only an inch of girth every century. It helps their survival that forest fires seldom start in bristlecone groves. Mostly barren ground means few shrubs and grasses as fuel, and there’s plenty of space between the trees to keep fires from spreading.

14 of Colorado’s living bristlecone pines are 1600 to 2100 years old, and their exact locations are kept secret, to help them continue their long, slow reach for eternity.

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.