California State Parks Official Website: http://parks.ca.gov/castle_crags

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Castle Crags State Park Photo Gallery

The bristlecone pines are a small group of pine trees (Family Pinaceae, genus Pinus, subsection Balfourianae) that can reach an age far greater than that of any other single living organism known, up to nearly 5,000 years.

Currently, the oldest living organism known is an individual of Pinus longaeva nicknamed "Methuselah" located in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains of eastern and measured by core samples to be about 4,700 years old. The U.S. Forest Service does not reveal the actual position of "Methuselah" in the bristlecone grove, in order to protect the tree.

Bristlecone pines grow in isolated groves at and just below tree-line. Because of cold temperatures, dry soils, high winds, and short growing seasons, the trees grow very slowly. The wood is very dense and resinous, and thus resistant to invasion by insects, fungi, and other potential pests. As the tree ages, much of its bark may die; in very old specimens often leaving only a narrow strip of living tissue to connect the roots to the handful of live branches. (Source: Wikipedia
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