California’s giant sequoias and redwoods are nature’s skyscrapers. Existing mostly in a few narrow pockets in Northern California (there are also some redwoods just over the border with Oregon and Washington State), these two tree species are wonders of the biological world. They are also some of the most magnificent things to behold on the planet.
Bristlecones are the longest living organism on earth. Gnarled and oftentimes squat, especially when compared to the majestic coastal redwoods and giant sequoias living near the coast further west, they hardly seem like mythical beings. But to scientists, they are a trove of information, offering clues to near immortality and to the many ways that the earth’s climate has changed over the last 5,000 years.