8 Idaho & Montana, Northern Rocky Mountains

Arboretum Group 8 attempts to recreate the forests in the middle part of the Rocky Mountains, in the northern United States. Here, too, one notices a certain gradation of species that corresponds to the various altitudes in those mountains. Hardwood species in low-lying valley forests may be somewhat underrepresented, with only Balsam poplar and Red alder in the mix. Missing are the ubiquitous American aspens and willows. In lower mountain zones we encounter again the hardy and dependable Douglas fir as well as Hemlock fir, Western red cedar, and Grand fir. Higher up one notices Western American larch, which grows only in the northwest, in Idaho. Also noticeable are various pine species: Lodgepole Pine, Ponderosa pine, Western White pine, and White bark pine. Among the subalpine species in the vicinity of the tree line are Engelmann spruce, Mountain hemlock, and Subalpine fir. The latter is naturally small and stocky, but here it seems to struggle in less than ideal conditions.