Octopus Tree: The story behind the art


Octopus Tree

New Art! The title of this painting is “Octopus Tree,” an affectionate name it has had for many, many years. This is an old tree that sits in Arapahoe National Forest, and its branches tell of its storied past. It is a limber pine (Pinus Flexilis). The limbs are very flexible and springy — perhaps an evolved characteristic to withstand intense high country winds.

Limber pines have 5 needles per bundle. Needles are between 1.5 and 2″ long.  They are a kind of white pine. They are thin-barked. They are considered an important or “keystone” species as corvids (jays and crows), especially the Clark’s nutcracker, and timber rats harvest their seeds and cache them all over the hillside.  Fire is rare at high elevation, but when it comes, most trees will die.  However, due to those seed caches, the limber pines will persist and even expand their territory post fire.

Limber pines are found in the Rockies and in the Great Basin. The oldest known limber pines are around 1700 years old (one in Idaho and one in N.M.). (Thanks to Margaret Ruby for this detailed explanation.)


You can own this 8” x 8” painting, as it will be part of RMCAD’s 4th Annual Art Bash, a silent auction supporting the Foundation’s student scholarship fund.

Online viewing of the Exhibition and bidding on the canvases begins November 23. The final evening of the Exhibition (Saturday, December 5, 2009, 6pm-9pm) is open to the public and will include a wine and cheese reception and a silent auction.

buy-now-buttonOr if you wish to order a print of this painting now, it is available as an 8″ x 8″ signed and numbered limited edition (30) giclee print for the great price of $35. Buy one for yourself or purchase one as a gift.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.