Ronald Lanner's Tree World

An ancient Great Basin bristlecone pine in California's White Mountains.Photo by David Lanner

The Bristlecone Book: A Natural History of the World's Oldest Trees

"A very few Great Basin bristlecones have green seed cones that appear to be turning purple, and yellow pollen cones with reddish tips. And one 2,500 to 3,000 year-old Great Basin bristlecone in the Schulman Grove has been found to produce white pollen from its red pollen cones."

"A common suggestion is that the presence of living bark strips enables old bristlecones to persist by maintaining a balance of water-procuring roots and water-consuming foliage. In other words, sectored architecture slows death by allowing a tree to linger until the last vestige finally gives up the ghost."

"And what of those favored few trees that escape their adversaries and persist for millennia? What finally becomes of them? Can they live forever, and if not, what finally kills them?"

CONTENTS

Preface

Chapter 1: Three Cousins
Great Basin Bristlecone Pine
Rocky Mountain Bristlecone Pine
Foxtail Pine
Origins

Chapter 2: What Pines Are Made Of
Buds
Shoots
Needles
Seed Cones
Pollen Cones
Seeds
Roots
Wood
Cambium
Earlywood, Latewood, and the Annual Ring
Spiral Grain
Resin
Bark

Chapter 3: Living A Long Life
The Seedling: Securing a Foothold
The Sapling: Reaching for the Sky
Maturity: Attaining the Evolutionary Goal
Old Age: A Time of Retreat

Chapter 4: Shapes and Forms
Sectored Architecture
Bark Strips
Leaning Trunks
Twisted Stems
Multiple Trunks
Colorful Sapwood
Asymmetrical Crowns

Chapter 5: Threats
Global Warming
Forest Fires
Bark Beetles
White Pine Blister Rust

Chapter 6: Age and Longevity
The Oldest Living -- and Dead -- Bristlecone Pines
The Secret of Long Life
The Oldest Living Thing?

Bibliography
Glossary
Index
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The Bristlecone Book: A Natural History of the World's Oldest Trees. 2007. Mountain Press Publ. Co. 128 pages. 6X9 in. Paper. $12.00
ISBN 978-0-87842-538-9
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