WGBH Openvault

NOVA; Methuselah Tree


Alternate version green label master. Has alternate music from start until 1:00:20:00.

License Clip

More material is available from this program at the WGBH Archive. If you are a researcher interested in accessing the collection at WGBH, please email archive_requests@wgbh.org.

Undigitized item: Request Digitization

Untranscribed item: Request Transcription

Methuselah Tree
Program Number


Series Description

Premiered March 1974 NOVA is a general-interest documentary series that addresses a single science issue each week. Billed as "science adventures for curious grown-ups" when it first aired in March, 1974, NOVA continues to offer an informative and entertaining approach to a challenging subject. 1996 marked NOVA's 23rd season, which makes it the longest-running science program on national television. It is also one of television's most acclaimed series, having won every major television award, most of them many times over. Series release date: 3/3/1974

Program Description

Celebrating its 4,644th birthday in 2001, a wind-blown bristlecone pine in the White Mountains of California is the world's oldest-known living organism, surpassing by nineteen centuries the age of the oldest Giant Sequoia. Ten thousand feet up in California's White Mountains, it is the oldest living thing on Earth. It is a bristlecone pine that was around when the Egyptian Pyramids were built. Ironically, after weathering all the droughts, high winds, and lightning strikes that must have struck over the millennia, the nearly 5,000-year-old Methuselah Tree now faces threats from the one force of nature that seemingly can do it harm: people. "Methuselah Tree" dramatizes the life cycle of this ancient wonder using brilliant visuals and a quirky style in which the narrator takes on the voice of the bristlecone pine.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “NOVA; Methuselah Tree,” 11/30/2001, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed January 24, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_DE5DEC5DDC9E430FA08C1EDAB445E067.
MLA: “NOVA; Methuselah Tree.” 11/30/2001. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. January 24, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_DE5DEC5DDC9E430FA08C1EDAB445E067>.
APA: NOVA; Methuselah Tree. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_DE5DEC5DDC9E430FA08C1EDAB445E067
If you have more information about this item, we want to know! Please contact us, including the URL.