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Picea engelmannii 
Picea engelmannii  (Engelmann Spruce)
Pinaceae (Pine Family)

Montane, subalpine, alpine. Woodlands. Spring.
Sharkstooth Trail, August 27, 2018.

Picea engelmannii dominate tree-line communities and even spread their seeds in the minute deposits of soil in scree slopes of rock glaciers.

 

Picea engelmannii
Picea engelmannii  (Engelmann Spruce)
Pinaceae (Pine Family)

Montane, subalpine, alpine. Woodlands. Spring.
Cross Mountain Trail, June 12, 2006.

In the photograph above, the view is across Lizard Head Pass to Yellow Mountain and Vermillion Peak from the Cross Mountain Trail.  Breezy days cause pollen-bearing male cones on the lower limbs of Picea engelmannii to release clouds of pollen that engulf nearby trees ensuring that the female seed cones at the top of the trees are pollinated. 

Picea engelmanniiThe dark spots on the male pollen-bearing cones (in the photograph at left) pull back a fraction of a millimeter and release clouds of pollen in the wind.  Several of the male cones, especially evident in the one to the right of center, still have the shiny brown sheath which covers each young cone until the pollen is fully developed.  Then the sheath drops off the cone to allow the pollen to spread.  You will find thousands of these sheaths at the base of Spruce trees.  

Click to see Picea engelmannii in its krummholz form.

Picea engelmannii

Picea engelmannii  (Engelmann Spruce)
Pinaceae (Pine Family)

Montane, subalpine, alpine. Woodlands. Spring.
Lizard Head Pass, January 19, 2007.

With the exception of a few Subalpine Firs (Abies bifolia), the forest shown above is a pure stand of Picea engelmannii.  The mountain peaks in this photograph are the same as those in the top photograph.

 

Picea engelmannii

Picea engelmannii  (Engelmann Spruce)
Pinaceae (Pine Family)

Montane, subalpine, alpine. Woodlands. Spring.
Navajo Lake Trail, Lizard Head Wilderness, August 6, 2014.

Betty and Willi marvel at the massive 14 foot diameter root system of a 250 year old Picea engelmannii which tumbled when the ground became water-saturated from heavy snows and rains.

 

Picea engelmannii   Picea engelmannii

Picea engelmannii  (Engelmann Spruce)
Pinaceae (Pine Family)

Montane, subalpine, alpine. Woodlands. Spring.
Below Helmet Peak, August 20, 2018.

This young slow-growing Picea engelmannii is rooted on the base of a long-ago fallen Picea engelmannii.

Young trees need all the nourishment they can get so for a number of years it is common for them to have chlorophyll-producing leaves on their trunks.