This image is of a Great Basin Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva) and it was made at sunset in the Inyo National Forest (CA): these trees can only be found in certain mountainous areas of California, Nevada and Utah and are really remarkable in that, with some of them being almost 5000 years old, they are the oldest living tree on earth.
Bristlecone pines have adapted to survive in extremely harsh and challenging environments. Typically, they live in high elevation habitats in areas with rocky soil, low rainfall and long winters.
They grow extremely slowly (a 40 year old bristlecone pine may not reach 6 inches!) and, at high elevations, they grow to 60 feet tall. Also, their needles can remain green for over 45 years. At low elevations, bristlecone pines grow straight, while at high elevations their trunks become twisted. Their root system is very shallow so as to allow maximum water uptake in arid environments.
For more information about these incredible trees, you may check out the relevant pages on the Websites of the National Wildlife Federation, the BBC, and the National Park Service.
If you would like to see more images of mine, feel free to browse my Galleries.
As per my copyright notice, please respect my work and do not download, reproduce or use the image above without first seeking my consent. Thank you