High among the cold, windswept peaks of America's mountain West, strange and beautiful trees grow old but never age. The Bristlecone Book: A Natural History of the World's Oldest Trees brings together for the first time the captivating facts about bristlecone and foxtail pines-trees that thrive in a harsh environment and live thousands of years-with a special focus on Great Basin bristlecone pine, the oldest tree species on earth.In this extraordinary journey into the world of bristlecones, author Ronald Lanner exposes the trees' inner workings, taking apart a pine to examine bark, buds, needles, cones, roots, and wood. He follows a tree's lifespan from seedling to great old age, presenting a new interpretation of stages of growth. He explains the unusual colors and forms that make bristlecones so picturesque, describes how the forces of nature influence the trees' unique shapes, and reveals their secrets of long life. Readers will discover where to go to see these trees and how to identify them. A stunning pageant of color photos shows off bristlecones and their remarkable growth patterns, and a map shows locations of groves.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Ronald M. Lanner was trained as a forester at New York State’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry and later earned a PhD in forest botany and genetics at the University of Minnesota. Over the course of his career, he has worked as a research forester with the U.S. Forest Service in California and Hawaii, taught courses in tree biology at Utah State University, and written numerous papers and five books about trees. His research has taken him all over the world, but he has always returned to the mountains of the American West and the haunts of the bristlecone and foxtail pines.