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Notes on Dead Pinus flexilis Above DeChambeau Creek

June 25, 2003
Connie Millar
Research Geneticist
Sierra Nevada Research Center
PSW Research Station, USDA Forest Service

Those dead trees above DeChambeau Creek are Pinus flexilis. That stand died during the 1990s drought - a drought/insect/pathogen complex (drought -- bark beetle -- mistletoe). But, there are young trees coming up under the dead elders. The stand was quite an anomaly for limber pine anyway -- most stands are not closed canopy- even-aged as that one was. The more typical limber pine structure is farther west in Lundy Canyon -- at edge of Deer Creek, and in Lake Canyon. Also, old limber pine stands across the Lundy slope (Red Rock Canyon and on slopes of Copper Mtn) are up to 2500 yrs old. We use limber pine as a bristlecone pine analog -- our tree-ring chronologies extend to 3500 years, so they don't quite rival Pinus longaeva, but certainly have a wider range. We have a set of transects from Eastern Sierra into central Great Basin. Wonderful country where those pretty pines live!

And, I'm still convinced that Louis DeChambeau made his reputation in the late 1800s as a ski maker using those limber pines above his ranch!

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