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For among other evils caused by being disarmed, it renders you contemptible; which is one of those disgraceful things which a prince must guard against.
Niccolo Machiavelli

Bristlecone Pine

Pinus aristata

They're hardy here. But they grow on their own schedule. Still, they would make a great accent tree at one end of a rock garden.

Bristlecone pines are possibly the longest lived organism on earth. Specimens in the high Sierra in California have been dated at over 4,500 years. Talk about planting for posterity!

Prices on bristlecones are twice standard for the size.

There are actually three species of pines that are collectively called 'bristlecones'. All are 5 needle pines. They can hybridize in captivity. Their natural ranges don't overlap.

Ours is P. aristata sometimes called Great Basin Bristlecone, with groves in Utal, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. Always at timberline -- Eight to 12 thousand feet this far south. Always on rocky, gravely soils.

For all that their natural range is far to the south, they should do well here -- except that our soil is too rich, with too much clay. Fast draining soils with good aeration are crucial. Root rot can be a problem.

More info: Bristlecone Pine at USFS


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Sherwood's Forests is located about 75 km southwest of Edmonton, Alberta. Please refer to the map on our Contact page for directions.