krummholz

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In mountainous regions, trees dominate the landscape, but only up to a certain elevation. At around 11,000 feet, trees start to grow very strangely. At this height, strong, cold, harsh winds make it very difficult for trees to develop properly. These trees have gnarled twisted stems and grow very close to the ground. This growth pattern at these high altitudes is known as “krummholz”, a German word meaning “twisted wood”. Pictured are spruce trees in Rocky Mountain National Park exhibiting krummholz growth at around 11,000 feet above sea level. Follow for more plant facts and photos!