IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

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Pinaceae -- Pine family

    Stephen F. Arno

    Alpine larch (Larix lyallii), also called subalpine larch and  Lyall larch, is a deciduous conifer. Its common name recognizes that this  species often grows higher up on cool exposures than any other trees,  thereby occupying what would otherwise be an alpine tundra. Both early-day  botanical explorers and modern visitors to the high mountains have noted  this tree's remarkable ability to form pure groves above the limits of  evergreen conifers. Alpine larch inhabits remote high-mountain terrain and  its wood has essentially no commercial value; however this tree is  ecologically interesting and esthetically attractive. Growing in a very  cold, snowy, and often windy environment, alpine larch usually remains  small and stunted, but in windsheltered basins it sometimes attains large  size-maximum 201 cm (79 in) in d.b.h. and 29 m (95 ft) in height. This  species is distinguished from its lower elevation relative western larch  (Larix occidentalis) by the woolly hairs that cover its buds and  recent twigs, and frequently by its broad, irregular crown.

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Stephen F. Arno

Source: Silvics of North America

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