Grow your own Bristlecone Pine, the longest-living tree species on the planet!
- 100% guaranteed
- Seed-grown on California's Redwood Coast
- Transplanting and care instructions included
Nursery Note: We were excited to obtain the seed of this truly incredible tree, which has proven extremely difficult in the past, and are delighted to pass along this ultra rare chance to grow the longest-living tree species on Planet Earth!
20 – 50' tall / 10 – 20' spread
About Bristlecone Pine
The amazing Bristlecone Pine, Pinus longaeva, may well be the world's most ancient living organism. The oldest still-living specimen grows in the mountains of what is now Southeastern California, and is estimated to be more than 5,000 years old, predating Cheops’ Pyramid and the Great Sphinx of Gizeh by centuries. This truly ancient specimen — which can still be seen today — was already a thousand years old by the time Stonehenge was erected, and three millennia old by the birth of Christ.
Bristlecone Pine is one of three subalpine tree species identified collectively as "foxtail pines" — so-called due to their dense, closely packed needles which resemble foxes' tails. Native to the higher mountains of California, Nevada, and Utah, Pinus longaeva makes its home in an extremely hostile environment. Few ever see indigenous Bristlecone Pines because they typically grow above the timberline on exposed, rocky, dry slopes and ridges at elevations between 7,000 and 12,000 feet. Native Bristlecones growing in these inhospitable locations high in the mountains cope with long, frigid winters and very brief, hot, dry summers as they slowly develop into incredibly dense, stocky, and gnarled specimens. Often in these prehistoric pines, much of the tree is dead while an incredibly tenacious living portion continues to grow for millennia.
Depending on growing conditions, mature Bristlecone Pines achieve heights of 20 to 50 feet and trunk diameters of 1 to 2-1/2 feet, and generally feature extremely dense, irregular crowns. Bristlecone Pines have lustrous, deep green needles, arranged in groups of five and often bespeckled with white droplets of resin. Long tufts of foliage cluster at the ends of the trees' short stout branches. Bristlecone Pine cones are dark chocolate to purple-brown in color, oval-shaped, and 3 to 3-1/2 inches long — each cone scale armed with the tree's distinctive 3/4" name-sake "bristle."
The astounding longevity and amazing hardiness of the Bristlecone Pine make it an attractive, slow-growing tree, perfect for ornamental planting in a diverse range of climates. In cultivation, Bristlecones take on a form quite different from their wild subalpine brethren, becoming symmetrical, even luxuriant trees, fully clothed in dense, very dark, shimmering needles. Its diminutive size and slow growth commend Bristlecone Pine as an excellent species for container-growing.
About Jonsteen's Seedlings
All of our trees are seed-grown at our nursery on California's Redwood Coast, which is inspected monthly and licensed by the California Department of Agriculture. Trees can provide a natural barrier against high winds, temperatures, noise pollution and soil erosion, all while benefiting local air quality, wildlife and property values — a Jonsteen seedling will only grow in value and beauty!
About Jonsteen's 100% Guarantee
All of our trees are guaranteed to arrive healthy and in good condition. If your tree perishes despite your honest efforts, we will be happy to replace it with a small-sized seedling for just the cost of shipping/handling. You can learn more about our guarantee and tree replacement policy here.
Seedling Size Chart: Small
Due to the dynamic nature of actively growing trees, as well as the tremendous variation between species’ growth rates, we rely on the cubic volume of a seedling’s root mass to determine its “size” (Small / Medium / Large / XL). Within each size there is minor variance — the dimensions provided here represent the category minimum. If exact measurements are essential, please contact us about current stock.