Bristlecone pines live at the limit of life, above 3,000m in the mountains of western America. Almost continuous freezing temperatures and savage winds make life so tough, that these bristlecones only grow for six weeks of the year.
Everything is about conserving energy.They hardly ever shed their needles which can last more than 30 years. After centuries of being blasted by storms a full grown tree still survives with only a strip of bark a few inches wide.
These trees live life at such a slow pace they can reach a great age. Some are over 5,000 years old. It has been said of the bristlecones that to live here is to take a very long time to die.
Available since: Thu 3 Dec 2009
- David Attenborough
- Neil Lucas
- Executive Producer
- Michael Gunton