Peter Brown

Peter M Brown is the director and President of Rocky Mountain Tree-Ring Research, a nonprofit corporation he founded in 1997. His research involves use of tree-ring and other data to reconstruct fire, forest and climate histories, and the application of such data to current issues in forest and fire management and restoration ecology. He is also past president of the Tree-Ring Society, an international organization of tree-ring scientists with members from over 40 countries.


Oldest living individual tree

The oldest trees in the world are the bristlecone pines (Pinus longaeva) of California's White Mountains, USA. The oldest individual tree, christened "Methuselah", was found by Dr Edmund Schulman (USA) and dated in 1957 from core samples as being more than 4,800 years old, although some scientists claim to have found an even older specimen. The precise locations are kept secret to protect the trees from vandalism. The annual growth rings of old trees provide a valuable insight into our changing climate: the bristlecone climate record from dead wood extends back more than 9,000 years. The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is located at around 3,050 m (10,000 ft) in the White Mountains, east of the Sierra Nevada. Over time, the wind and rain has moulded the trees into strange shapes and forms made even more unusual by the sunshine, altitude and clean, crisp air. Dr Schulman was a scientist from the University of Arizona when he came across Methuselah and an area in the forest is named the Schulman Grove in his honour.