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Tree Skirting: Snow Shapes Subalpine Tree Growth

Tree Skirting: Snow Shapes Subalpine Tree Growth
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Skirted Trees I: Olympic National Park, Washington by Shari Maria Silverman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.Skirted Trees I: Olympic National Park, Washington

Skirted Trees I: Olympic National Park, Washington

In the Pacific Northwest, summer is transitioning into fall. Here fall is short, and quickly becomes winter. In the lowlands, where most of the population lives, winter consists of rain with mildly cold temperatures, mostly above freezing. Sometimes a snow or ice storm catches us off guard, since we don’t salt the roads for salmon safety. In the high country, snow comes quickly. It already blankets much of the Olympics, where just a month ago wildflowers grew.

Therefore, now is the perfect time to briefly discuss tree skirting. In a nutshell, tree skirting is subalpine firs’ response to snow coverage. The snow blankets the tree, protecting it from harsh cold and winds. The snow cover encourages growth at the tree base, forming the skirt. That is why subalpine firs sport luxurious branches at their base (This information comes from an interpretative sign at Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park).

It should be noted that tree skirting has almost the opposite definition in landscaping. It involves the removal of the lower branches.

Creative Commons License
Skirted Trees II: Olympic National Park, Washington by Shari Maria Silverman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.Skirted Trees II: Olympic National Park, Washington

Skirted Trees II: Olympic National Park, Washington

Creative Commons License
Tree Skirting: Snow Shapes Subalpine Tree Growth by Shari Maria Silverman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.


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One Comment

  1. Skirting refers to something that is used as a border or edge around an object. There are skirts for your beds, skirting kits for cars, and even skirting for homes. Skirting for manufactured homes protects your house from rodents and bugs. These animals can cause serious damage to your home and adding a skirt around it will prevent any infestation. Not only is skirting functional it is also very fashionable and adds a personal touch to the exterior of your home.

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