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Great Basin Bristlecone Pine Video Stock Footage
These ancient trees have a gnarled and stunted appearance, especially those found at high altitudes, and have reddish-brown bark with deep fissures. As the tree ages, much of its vascular cambium layer may die. In very old specimens, often only a narrow strip of living tissue connects the roots to a handful of live branches. The Great Basin bristlecone pine differs from the Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine in that the needles of the former always have two uninterrupted resin canals, so it lacks the characteristic small white resin flecks appearing on the needles of the latter. The Great Basin bristlecone pine differs from the foxtail pine because the cone bristles of the former are over 2 mm (0.079 in) long, and the cones have a more rounded (not conic) base. The green pine needles give the twisted branches a bottle-brush appearance. The name 'bristlecone pine' refers to the dark purple female cones that bear incurved prickles on their surface.
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