Bristlecone Pine: Science and Esthetics

Science  23 Feb 1968:
Vol. 159, Issue 3817, pp. 839-846
DOI: 10.1126/science.159.3817.839


A 7100-year tree-ring chronology has been developed for bristlecone pine, Pinus aristata Engelm., in the White Mountains of east-central California by the addition of data from long-dead specimens to the 4600-year record from living trees. These dendrochronological studies have major applications to climatic interpretations, radiocarbon analysis, and the dating of past events.

The great age of these trees and the esthetic appeal of both the trees and their environment are drawing increasing numbers of visitors to the bristlecone pine areas. Concern is expressed for the preservation of this ancient wood.