Champion Klamath Foxtail Pine

Pinus balfouriana subspecies balfouriana

In 2010, I first found this tree while backpacking through the Trinity Alps Wilderness in far northern California. Just last week, thirteen years later, my son Sylas and I returned with tools to officially measure and nominate this tree. While points fell just short of the overall champion, it is the second largest foxtail pine known and the largest of the subspecies of the Klamath foxtail pine (Pinus balfouriana subsp. balfouriana).

It measures 24’ circumference 84’ tall 44’ crown spread for 383 AF points. CLICK for how to measure a tree.

Foxtail pines are relatives of the Great Basin bristlecone (Pinus longaeva) and Rocky Mountain bristlecone (Pinus aristata). However, foxtail pines are endemic to California’s Sierra Nevada and Klamath Mountains. The best way to see this species is to hike to them. This particular tree required my son and I to do a 30 mile backpacking trip. There are only two roads I know of that will take you to this high elevation species. One in the Sierra Nevada and one in the Klamath Mountains. For more on those locations, I will defer that you read my book Conifer Country.

2 Replies to “Champion Klamath Foxtail Pine”

  1. There are 100 footers on the east slope of Wildcat Peak on the edge of the Russians…but maybe not 8′ diameter! They may have burned in the fire above Callahan a couple of years ago…

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