Nevada State Tree

Bristlecone pine Pinaceae Pinus aristata

Leaf: Acicular, short (1 to 1 1/2 inches long), curved, fascicles of 5, dark green but usually covered with white dots of dried resin. Remain on tree for 10-17 years, giving a bushy appearance that resembles a fox's tail.

Flower: Monoecious; male cones small, dark orange and often clustered near the ends of branches; female cones occur singly or in pairs near the ends of branches.

Fruit: Moderate sized woody cone (about 3 inches long) with a short stalk; imbricate scales are thickened and tipped with a long bristle, giving rise to its common name. Seeds are winged.

Twig: Orange-brown when young but darkening with age.

Bark: Young bark is thin, smooth, and gray-white later becoming furrowed and reddish-brown. Old trees on harsh, windy sites may have only a few strands of bark remaining in crevices where it is protected from sandblasting winds.

Form: Typically small and contorted by the wind and harsh growing conditions, grows very slowly.

Copyright 2003, Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved.
Photos courtesy: Michael Aust, John Baitey, Ctaude L. Brown, Bruce Bongarten,
Susan D. Day, Edward C. Jensen, Richard E. Kreh, Larry H. McCormick, Alex X.
Niemiera, John A. Peterson, Oana Popescu, John R. Seiter, David W. Smith, Kim
C. Steiner, James E. Ward, Rodney E. Will, Shepard M. Zedaker.
Text written by: John R. Seiter, Edward C. Jensen, Or John A. Peterson