Nevada’s beautiful Great Basin National Park boasts the oldest trees on the planet, the bristlecone pine. The oldest living tree of the bunch, named Methuselah, is over 4,800 years young. According to a NYT article posted yesterday, scientists say these ancient trees may soon come in contact with not only white pine blister rust, an Asian fungus that came to the United States from Asia, via Europe, a century ago, but the ubiquitous native pine bark beetle as well.
There are three species of bristlecones — the Great Basin, Foxtail and Rocky Mountain. As of now, only the Rocky Mountain has been effected, but scientists believe it’s only a matter of time until it spreads to the rest of them. More info at NYT.