Probably no other tree in the Alpine region generates such strong associations with autumn as the larch. This tree, which belongs to the pine family and is one of only a few conifers to lose its needles in autumn, attracts attention at this time of year due to the bright, yellow-orange coloring of its needles. In the corresponding regions, the larch forests then often bathe entire mountain slopes in a yellow dress, which looks very impressive especially in combination with the low autumn sun.
Our picture of the month October shows a typical Swiss larch forest in the middle of autumn, when the needles of this tree shine almost unnaturally brilliant.
Larch forests in Switzerland
In Switzerland, larch forests are mainly found in the Engadine and in the Valais, where especially the southern valleys of the Valais, such as the Val d’Hérens, the Saas Valley or the Matter Valley, but also the Lötschen Valley to the north are known as worthwhile destinations. Regions with larch forests are a favorite photo subject for landscape photographers, because with the right light, incredibly colorful and appealing images can be created in this constellation. In our special blog post about the larches in the Engadine, we have collected and summarized a lot of information especially for photographers.
Especially in the construction industry, the hard and durable larch wood finds its use, whereas it is rather less suitable as firewood. With the exception of yew, larch wood is the hardest and heaviest native wood, at the same time extremely weather resistant and little susceptible to chemicals. These properties make the wood a sought-after product for interior and exterior use, and it is therefore found in many construction projects.
Larch forest in Val Morteratsch
Our calendar picture for the month of October was taken in autumn in the Engadine Val Morteratsch. The low, almost purple shrubs, together with the gray scree, form a fitting contrast to the bright colors of the sparse larch forest, which thus lends a certain color to this rather gray autumn day. The trees grow in the high valley located at about 2000 meters in the former glacier forefield of the Vadret da Morteratsch and find perfect conditions there in the rough high mountain landscape.