bristlecone pine


bris·​tle·​cone pine ˈbri-səl-ˌkōn- How to pronounce bristlecone pine (audio)
: either of two pines (Pinus longaeva and P. aristata) of the western U.S. that include the oldest living trees

called also bristlecone

Illustration of bristlecone pine

Illustration of bristlecone pine

Examples of bristlecone pine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The oldest trees — bristlecone pines — can live nearly 5,000 years; scientists can extract a pencil-thin core to study the rings without harming the trees. F.d. Flam, Twin Cities, 17 May 2024 In North America, only bristlecone pines grow longer. WIRED, 18 Nov. 2023 Much of that is the soft, pale, alkaline dolomite that gives the range its name – a kind of limestone preferred by the bristlecone pines. Paul McHugh, Sacramento Bee, 31 Jan. 2024 As someone who writes about aging in a state that has what might be the oldest tree in the world, a bristlecone pine in the White Mountains — along with countless senior citizens of the redwood and sequoia variety — I’m obliged to make a pilgrimage. Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times, 3 Jan. 2024 That’s 1,000 years older than a 12,000-year-old Palm Springs creosote bush that was previously thought to be the oldest plant in California, 8,000 years older than bristlecone pines, and 10,000 years older than the redwoods, according to a study by UC Davis and UC Riverside scientists. Louis Sahagún, Los Angeles Times, 6 Nov. 2023 Great Basin National Park, known for its dark skies, ancient bristlecone pine trees, and limestone caves, has seen a visitation surge in recent years. Jackie Valley, The Christian Science Monitor, 27 Oct. 2023 Since 2013, drought and bark beetles have killed thousands of bristlecone pines — considered the oldest trees on Earth — at Telescope Peak in Death Valley National Park. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 15 Aug. 2023 This may sound like a lot, but some species can already live hundreds of years—and in some cases thousands of years [such as the hexactinellid sponge and the Great Basin bristlecone pine]. Bill Gifford, Scientific American, 31 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bristlecone pine.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1893, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bristlecone pine was in 1893

Dictionary Entries Near bristlecone pine

Cite this Entry

“Bristlecone pine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

bristlecone pine

bris·​tle·​cone pine ˌbris-əl-ˌkōn- How to pronounce bristlecone pine (audio)
: either of two pines of the western U.S. that include the oldest living trees

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