Most pines are comparatively long-lived, but bristlecones redefine the concept of old age.
The oldest known living specimen, the "Methuselah" tree, is 4,842 years old as of 2010!
The intermountain bristlecone pine is a native of the western United States.
Identification: Trees are up to 52′ (16 m) tall. The crown is rounded or often irregular due to winds. Because of extreme age and harsh conditions, portions of each tree are usually dead.
The bark is bright orange-yellow. Usually needles are in groups of 5 (sometimes 3 or 4). The deep yellow green needles curve upward, and they are unusually short: ½-1¼″ (1.5-3.5 cm) × 1/32″ (1 mm). Cones are 2-3½″ (6-9.5 cm) long, purple when young, becoming red-brown. Each seed has a sharp thin thorn.
For further information, see the Pinus comparison tables.