The Larch forest

larch forest

On the subalpine plainsĀ larch forest represents the typical vegetation found in the Park. It rarely surpasses an altitude of 2.000 mt. and makes up the true Park woodlands in Alagna and Carcoforo. The tree density is never elevated and the forest floor is made up of rhododendron and blueberry shrubs. The Larch grows quite high and is very resistant, very much like pioneer vegetation. In fact it even grows on precipices. It endures very well in cold harsh weather and with respect to other conifers, it loses its needles in autumn blocking the flow of sap. In this way the branches offer less surface and decrease the risk of snapping under the weight of the snow. In this difficult environmental situation it doesn’t need to compete with the other trees. The Larch provides the ideal habitat for the life of many Park animals such as the chamois, ibex, roe deer, mountain cocks, black woodpeckers etc. Man has always used its wood as material to make the items they needed, given its particular aesthetic characteristics and resistance. The main structure for Walser homes were constructed with Larch tree trunks, also the furniture, door and window frames and numerous other hand-made items. In some zones in the Park, especially near the mountain pastures, you can see a form of competition between between man and the forest. In fact, the first village settlers of the pastures had to conquest part of the woodland territory to adequately develop their work as agricultural shepherds.