Do You Have Or Want A Bristlecone Pine? Take These Steps To Plant It And Keep It Healthy

Posted on: 15 May 2015

Trees grow to be very old, but unlike people they can continue growing and being healthy for many years. The Bristlecone pine is the oldest known tree in North America at 5,062 years old in 2012, and currently still growing in California. If you have this kind of tree, it too can grow to be this old if it is cared for properly. If you do not have one, you can plant one in your yard:


If you do not currently have a Bristlecone pines but would like them in your yard, you may be able to find them at garden centers or order them online. You should know that they grow very slow so you will likely not see much height on it yourself, but people in the future will be able to enjoy it.

They thrive in soil that is rocky and well drained, and can live in desert like conditions. They can tolerate the shade but do best if they are planted in full sun.

To plant the tree, dig a hole that is a little larger than the root ball on the tree, and then place the root ball in the hole. Fill it backup with soil, and then water the tree. Keep it well watered for the first couple of weeks to help the tree get established in its new home.


Because Bristlecone pines grow very slowly you may not need to prune it. If your tree is larger, however, you may want to hire a tree trimming service to prune it so the shape is uniform. Unless you are skilled at doing this, you should not do it yourself.

Pine Blister

You need to keep a watch on pine blister rust on your Bristlecone pine tree. If your tree has this problem, and it is not take care of the tree will die.

In the beginning, you will notice canker sores on the limbs and the needles will turn brown. The cankers are discolored and swollen areas on the branches.  If left unattended, the pine blister rust will spread to the trunk of the tree eventually killing it.

If you see cankers on branches that are a few feet from the trunk of the tree, use pruning shears to remove the whole branches. If you see canker sores closer to the trunk of the tree, the rust has likely infected it and nothing can be done about it. You can still enjoy your tree for many years, as it takes time for this disease to kill it.

In many cases, it starts out affecting the lower branches so it is not difficult for you to inspect it yourself.

If you see pine trees in the area you live, you likely see a lot of pine needles on the ground under them. With a Bristlecone pine, you will not have this problem, as it does not drop its needles. To learn more, contact a company like Gene's Tree Service with any questions or concerns you have.


identifying issues with your trees

Do you know how to identify a sick or troublesome tree? Are there trees that hang over your home? Do you have trees that aren't quite as beautiful as they once were? I have created my blog to help as many people as possible identify and resolve problems with trees. Whether your tree is sick and needs attention, or if the tree is hanging over your home, causing roofing problems, you can learn a lot about what course of action to take by visiting my blog. Hopefully, you can find all of the information you need to save your trees and know when it is time to take them down.