|Pinus aristata may be one of the oldest living plants in the world. Some individuals have been documented at over 5000 years old. They are extremely slow growing, under adverse conditions only adding an inch per century. However a 20 year old tree under cultivation can be expected to be about 4 feet tall.
They are a scrubby, small pine with a lot of character. The needles are dark green with a bluish tinge. The cones are 2 to 4 inches long with bristles at each scale. Native to the Southwest, up to Nevada and Utah.
Pines are one of the most diverse groups of evergreen conifers, over 90 species are distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere.
Although most are large trees, they can take a low growing shrub form. Pines have been very important commercially in timber production, as well as a variety of other manufactured products such as turpentine and rosin. They tend to be more tolerant of varying soil types and urban environments than either Picea or Abies. Pines tend to develop tap roots, so one should not attempt to transplant them from the wild. All species are grown from seed with highly variable seed stratification requirements. They can be subject to many diseases, such as damping off, root rot, dieback, blister rust, canker, blight, scale, pine needle miner, pine weevil, bark beetles and pinewood nematode. Well situated plants should be relatively trouble free.
They suffer salt damage along highways, and can get tip burn in areas of high sulfur dioxide or ozone.