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  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/includes/file.inc on line 646.
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  • warning: explode() expects parameter 2 to be string, array given in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/modules/custom_pagers/custom_pagers.module on line 411.
  • warning: explode() expects parameter 2 to be string, array given in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/modules/custom_pagers/custom_pagers.module on line 411.
  • warning: explode() expects parameter 2 to be string, array given in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/modules/custom_pagers/custom_pagers.module on line 411.
  • warning: explode() expects parameter 2 to be string, array given in /home/moocow/moocowfanclub.com/httpdocs/modules/custom_pagers/custom_pagers.module on line 411.
Rhetorical's picture

Ah, it's my turn to tell a tale around the fire is it? Ramses & F.W. are bugging me to tell you a horror story that would keep you up for weeks, but I don't I don't think I'm in the mood. Although, I will be happy to tell you about some mysterious beings as old as time. Trees.

sequoia


You see, trees are the longest living things on the surface of our planet, and, yes, some are even older than I am. They are the largest, too. Sure, there are many things in nature that can kill a tree, things like lightning strikes, bug infestations, and humans, but as it is said “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger,” and these old trees are mighty indeed. They are true survivors and worthy of our respect. I’ll tell you about two of my favorite old friends.
The most famous of the old trees are the sequoias (pronounced sih-KWOY-uhs). These massive trees have been around for millions of years. In fact, when dinosaurs roamed the earth you could find these trees all across North America and Europe. But, about a million years ago, the temperature of the earth changed, and these magnificent trees began to die off. Now, sequoias only grow naturally in just a few small areas of northern California. The oldest ones still around are somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 years old. A mature sequoia tree, and it is only mature after a thousand years, has a trunk that goes straight up for 100 to150 feet (which is like 25 adults standing on each other’s shoulders) without a single branch. Then, high up on the trunk, large twisted branches spread out. As the tree grows bigger, the branches and trunk grow bigger to help keep its balance. The average height of a sequoia from the ground to the top branches is 250 feet! We would have more sequoia trees to marvel at if it weren’t for all the settlers that moved to California. They didn’t appreciate the majesty of these trees and only saw them as timber to build their new houses and ships. They ended up cutting most of these trees down. If you have an opportunity to visit the sequoias, don’t pass it up. I myself like to sit quietly among these mighty trees, imagining a time when the land was covered by these beings so great that they even made the dinosaurs look small.

 


bristlecone pine
The oldest tree in the world (and the oldest living inhabitant of our planet) is the bristlecone pine. Many can live 4,000 or more years, and the oldest is thought to be 4,767 years old. To give you an idea of how long ago that is, let me tell you this: some of the bristlecone pine trees that are living today were seedlings when the pyramids were being built. Impressed now? I know I may have given you the impression that the old trees of the world are all very tall, but the bristlecone pines are exceptions. They are actually quite small compared to the sequoias, only sixty feet at most. In fact some of the oldest are quite short and gnarled looking. When a tree lives to be that old, it has many tricky ways to survive. Invasions from bacteria, fungi or insects that prey upon most plants are unknown to the bristlecone due to its dense wood and high quantity of resin (sap). The needles on the tree are also very long living, so the tree doesn’t need to use much energy to produce new ones. Even when one of these trees dies, you might not know it because it can remain standing for hundreds of years.

Sequoia size

 

 

 

 

I think it’s important that more humans learn to protect and respect all of these trees, from sequoias to bristlecones, so they have a chance to live hundreds, or even thousands, of years longer. I look out for them because we old folks have to stick together.

 

 

Main Illustrations by Drew Weing

Bottom Illustrations and all colors by Ryan Wilson

 

 

bristlecone vs human size

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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