30 Algeria, Babor Mountains

In the eastern part of the North African Atlas Mountains, on the Algerian side, lies a mountain known as Djebel Babor in the Berber languages. Algerian silver fir and Atlas cedar have traditionally struggled to dominate the slopes in the higher regions of Mount Babor. The cedars have, of late, proven their might and have all but vanquished the Algerian silver firs, to the extent that the species is now designated on the IUCN red lists as “threatened with extinction.” But the story does not end there: the Atlas cedars, which had a competitive advantage due to easier sowing and more vigorous growth, have also been thinned out considerably. Both species are well represented in arboretum Group 30, with two generations each. The large Atlas cedars are particularly impressive and robust. Green forests of Algerian oak stretch across the lower mountain areas of the Babor Range. Approaching the Rif Mountains one encounters Pyrenean and Portuguese oak. The undergrowth consists of leafy and flowering species such as laurel and tree heath. Also within this group, and partially sheltered under the oaks of the original forest, are beautiful clusters of the long-lived Common yew. Rising vigorously in the middle is a beautiful Algerian oak.