While hiking along the Pacific Crest Trail to the Tahquitz Peak Fire Lookout in the San Bernardino National Forest this summer, I noticed several pine trees growing from the granite along the ridge trail. I was particularly drawn to this interesting cluster of young cones surrounded by needles on several of these trees.
However, I wasn’t sure just what kind of pine tree I was looking at! Well, I’ve recently become a member of iNaturalist.org (Which is an online site and community for reporting personal observations of any plant or animal species in the world..Hoping that I have the correct tree!.). I was able to compare my pictures to some pictures on this site to identify the type of tree in my picture.
I also found out that the Whitebark pine is threatened by:
- an introduced fungal disease called white pine blister rust,
- outbreaks of mountain pine beetles, and
- increased competition from shade-loving trees caused by fire suppression
- climate change
Please check out the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation for more information and to help this group save this tree that grows in the upper elevations of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
That’s it for now. We are helping one of our daughter’s get ready to move back to school…so, I better get back to work!
Where are you hiking this weekend?
If you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill.