26 Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dinaric Alps

Many regions in the Balkans have rich forests where we find a variety of endemic southern European tree and plant species, which are therefore less familiar to us. Arboretum Group 26 focuses on the border area between Bosnia and Herzegovina on the one hand and Montenegro on the other. This is the region around the Zvijezda ridge, its highest peak being Velicki Stolac. A hike up this ridge reveals five different forest types arranged like floors as one ascends to the top. In the bottom are Illyrian oak forests where, among others, Downy oak, Hungarian oak, and Turkey oak thrive. Accompanying some of these oak species on slightly higher ground are Sweet chestnut, Eastern hornbeam, Hop-hornbeam, Manna ash, and Italian maple. Ascending further, the mixed beech forest with European silver fir turns into a coniferous forest with Black pine, Norway spruce and endemic species of Serbian fir and Bosnian pine. In the subalpine forest above, the Balkan pine, a rare and near-threatened five-needled tree, can be found in pure stands or mixed with European spruce, Scots pine and Mountain Pine.