White Bark Pine TreeThe White-Bark Pine (P. albicaulis, Engelm. ) shouts its name at the traveller who climbs the snow-clad peaks where it rims the forests at the timber line. The snowy hark glistens in the sun as if it reflected the icy mantle that blankets the roots for a large part of the year. Its range is from British Columbia to Montana and Wyoming, south into California. It keeps near the timber line, but goes down to 5,000 feet level, becoming a tree 40 feet high in some places. Usually it is flattened and broad topped ; its matted branches, cumbered with needles and snow, make a platform on which one may walk with perfect safety. Travellers sometimes spread their blankets upon the branches and sleep as comfortably as on a spring bed. These gnarled, shrubby trees are often astonishingly old. John Muir measured one carefully. It was
" Three feet high, with a stem 6 inches in diameter at the ground, and branches that spread out horizontally as if it had grown up against a ceiling; yet it was 426 years old, and one of' its supple branchlets, about 8 of an inch in diameter inside the bark, was seventy-five years old, and so tough that I tied it into knots. At the no-e of this dwarf many of the sugar and _yellow pines and sequoias are 7 feet in diameter and over 200 feet high."