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Bristlecone pine 'Prometheus' in Great Basin National Park in Baker

There was one bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva) in Great Basin National Park in Baker (White Pine County). This tree doesn't exist anymore today.

This tree is called "Prometheus". Prometheus was the nickname given to the oldest known non-clonal organism, a Great Basin Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva) tree growing near the tree line on Wheeler Peak in eastern Nevada, USA. The tree, which was at least 4862 years old and likely approaching or over 5000 years, was cut down in 1964 by a graduate student and U.S. Forest Service personnel for research purposes. They did not know of its world-record age before the cutting.

However, the circumstances and decision making process leading to the felling of the tree remain controversial, with different extant versions regarding the decision to cut the tree; not all of the basic facts are agreed upon by all involved. The nickname of the tree refers to the mythological figure Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods and gave it to man.

The girth of this tree is not known. Its height is not known. This tree was planted around the year 2898 BC ± 10, which makes it around 4913 ± 10 years old (Tim B, Oct 1, 2011).

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Prometheus (bristlecone pine "3652")

Great Basin National Park, picture by James R Bouldin

Great Basin National Park, picture by James R Bouldin

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