- Grow the world's oldest living tree from seed!
- Includes absolutely everything you need to grow a Bristlecone Pine (Pinus aristata) from seed: seeds, growing medium, a mini-greenhouse, and detailed instructions
- 100% guaranteed: If your seed fails to germinate or your seedling perishes, we are happy to provide free replacement seed
- Great for kids and adults, amateurs to experts!
- A universal symbol of life, regrowth and recovery, enduring friendships and new beginnings, a tree is a wonderful gift that will only grow in value, meaning, and beauty
About Bristlecone Pine
The amazing Bristlecone Pine may well be the world's most ancient living organism. The oldest still-living specimen grows in the mountains of what is now Southeastern California, and is estimated to be more than 5,000 years old, predating Cheops’ Pyramid and the Great Sphinx of Gizeh by centuries. This truly ancient specimen – which can still be seen today – was already a thousand years old by the time Stonehenge was erected, and three millennia old by the birth of Christ.
Bristlecone Pine is one of three subalpine tree species identified collectively as "foxtail pines" – so-called due to their dense, closely packed needles which resemble foxes' tails. Sometimes called "Hickory Pine," Pinus aristata, or Rocky Mountain Bristlecone Pine, was first collected by British botanist F. Creutzfeldt in Colorado in 1853. Native to dry, mountainous regions in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, California, New Mexico, and the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Bristlecone Pine makes its home in an extremely hostile environment. Few ever see indigenous Bristlecone Pines because they typically grow above the timberline on exposed, rocky, dry slopes and ridges at elevations between 7,000 and 12,000 feet. Native Bristlecones growing in these inhospitable locations high in the mountains cope with long, frigid winters and very brief, hot, dry summers as they slowly develop into incredibly dense, stocky, and gnarled specimens. Often in these prehistoric pines, much of the tree is dead while an incredibly tenacious living portion continues to grow for millennia.
Depending on growing conditions, mature Bristlecone Pines achieve heights of 20 to 50 feet and trunk diameters of 1 to 2-1/2 feet, and generally feature extremely dense, irregular crowns. Bristlecone Pines have lustrous, deep green needles, arranged in groups of five and often bespeckled with white droplets of resin. Long tufts of foliage cluster at the ends of the trees' short stout branches. Bristlecone Pine cones are dark chocolate to purple-brown in color, oval-shaped, and rom 3 to 3-1/2 inches long – each cone scale armed with the tree's distinctive 3/4" name-sake "bristle."
The astounding longevity and amazing hardiness of the Bristlecone Pine make it an attractive, slow-growing tree, perfect for ornamental planting in a diverse range of climates. In cultivation, Bristlecones take on a form quite different from their wild subalpine brethren, becoming symmetrical, even luxuriant trees, fully clothed in dense, very dark, shimmering needles. Pinus aristata is remarkably drought-resistant and has been planted successfully throughout the U.S., Canada, and elsewhere (including Iceland!). Its diminutive size and slow growth commend Bristlecone Pine as an excellent species for container-growing.