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Limber pine conservation in Rocky Mountain National Park

Informally Refereed
Authors: Jeff Connor, Anna Schoettle, Kelly Burns, Erin Borgman
Year: 2012
Type: Magazines or Trade Publications
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
Source: Nutcracker Notes. 23: 13-15.


Limber pines are one of the most picturesque trees in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). Growing in some of the park's most exposed rocky sites, the trees' gnarled trunks give testimony to fierce winds that buffet them in winter. Limber pines live to great ages, with some in the park exceeding 1,000 years. An especially photogenic stand of ancient trees defies the wind at Knife's Edge along Trail Ridge Road, and a remarkable old giant stands sentinel on the shore of Lake Haiyaha. Although the species occurs in small stands dominating only about 2,700 acres of the park, limber pine is an ecologically important tree and is the only white pine in the park. Clark's nutcrackers feed on and cache the seeds in the forest floor and the seeds are an important source of nutrition for bears and pine squirrels. The trees are also vital for watershed protection.


limber pines, Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP)


Connor, Jeff; Schoettle, Anna; Burns, Kelly; Borgman, Erin. 2012. Limber pine conservation in Rocky Mountain National Park. Nutcracker Notes. 23: 13-15.