Friday, October 24, 2014

Dishman Hills Natural Area

Amelanchier alnifolia (Sarvisberry)

Pinus ponderosa (Ponderosa Pine) in the Dishman Hills Natural Area October 2012

Dishman Hills Natural Area October 2012

Pinus ponderosa (Ponderosa Pine) in the Dishman Hills Natural Area October 2012

Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon Grape)  All photos taken in October 2012.

Click here for more photos of Dishman Hills Natural Area.

The Dishman Hills Natural Area is a mixed Ponderosa Pine & Douglas Fir forest maintained by the Spokane County Parks and Recreation Department.  It consists of 530 acres just outside the City of Spokane.  It is a beautiful native forest, remarkably free of alien species.  The rock formations are also quite impressive.

Ponderosa Pine forest generally occurs on the driest sites supporting conifers in the Pacific Northwest. It is widespread & variable, appearing on moderate to steep slopes in canyons, foothills, & on plateaus or plains near mountains. Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) & Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) are the most common evergreen trees in this habitat.  The undergrowth can include dense stands of shrubs or, more often, be dominated by grasses, sedges, &/or forbs.  In the Dishman Hills Natural Area I saw Amelanchier alnifolia (Sarvisberry) Balsamorhiza sagittata (Arrowleaf Balsamroot) Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon Grape) Physocarpus malvaceus (Mallow-leaf Ninebark) Symphoricarpos albus (Common Snowberry) & quite a lot of grass.

Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) is one of the most widely distributed pines in western North America.   Pacific Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa var. ponderosa) ranges from the Fraser River of southern British Columbia, south through the mountains of Washington, Oregon & California. In the northeast part of its range it extends east of the Continental Divide Montana & south to the Snake River Plain in Idaho.  It is found primarily on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains & in mountainous areas of eastern Washington.

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