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Whitebark Pines

Because of strong, harsh, and nearly
constant winds, many of the trees here
are deformed and stunted. The almost
never-ending pressure bends trunks and
branches so they grow away from the wind.

As the trunks thicken with age, they
bury the curved bases of limbs on the windward
sides. (You can see ridges where many of
these limbs have been so covered). Buds on
the windward sides may also die. The combined
result is the grotesque, lop-sided
appearance typical of exposed trees at
higher elevations.

The trees before you are whitebark
pines - one of the few kinds of trees which
can survive under these severe conditions.

Don't miss the rest of our virtual tour of Crater Lake National Park in 1757 images.