22 Eastern France, Western Alps

Coniferous forests of mainly Norway spruce and European silver fir dominate the lower slopes of the Alps. Arboretum Group 22, however, gives us a clearer picture of the vegetation found at the highest altitudes of these mountains. European larch, Mountain pine, and Swiss stone pine (also known as Arve) colonize those higher altitudes of the Alpine range. These species do not last very long at this less-than-ideal location in Tervuren, in Flemish Brabant, and so they must be regularly replaced. This is not the case with the Green alders, which do considerably better here. Green alder is a shrubby, proliferating pioneer species that also occurs in the northern regions of Scandinavia, just like the iconic Norway spruce.