Feb 17, 2010 – Painting a day project

Krummholz

Krummholz

Krummholz.  Betch’re wondering what the heck that is (and no, it is not a German curse word.)??  It is a German word meaning crooked wood.  Krummholz is the transition zone between subalpine and alpine tundra ecosystems.  It also separates the temperate and the artic climate zones.  The trees that grow in the Krummholz areas are twisted, wind-battered, and often stark white.  They are the same spruce, fir, and pine that grow in the subalpine areas.  In the subalpine area, the same tree tree may grow upwards of 100 feet tall, a krummholz tree the same age may only reach 10 feet tall.   The trunks are twisted into odd shapes and look as though someone has taken a hair dryer or something to them and blew all of their branches and needles to one side.  Their branches usually only grow on the downwind side, appearing like flags blowing in the wind.  When the full sun is out, many of them they appear very white, almost as if they’ve been using the new teeth whiteners.  They are a very fascinating site…..so fascinating that I’ve made my hub stop more than once along the road to snap more pictures of those “wierd trees”.  God bless him, he usually humored me and stopped, even when we were holding up traffic because there were no pull offs!

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