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Alpine Larch Tree

Alpine Larch TreeThe Alpine Larch (Larix Lyallii, Parl.) is a slender tree of the high tablelands of the Northwest, balancing itself on rocky ledges, and seeming to choose the most exposed and forbidding situations. It climbs to the very limit of tree growth, and presents a more irregular form than either of its relatives. The tough limbs divide at intervals, throwing out several branches at the same point. These differ in strength and size. The twigs are covered with white, hairy fuzz which is shed at the end of the second winter. The bark of the twigs then darkens for a period of several years and becomes almost black. On the trunk the bark is reddish and loosely scaly. The leaves are stiff and sharp, blue-green and distinctly 4-angled. The cones have their scales far surpassed in length by the tip of the bract. The hairiness of the cones is conspicuous.

The Alpine larch never grows below an altitude of 4,000 feet. It ranges from Montana west to the coast and north into the British possessions.