John Muir


[Charles Sprague] Sargent


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6of the trees. Large areas are burned & the ground is strewn with blackened poles. From this terrace the mountain rises in steep slopes. The trees are chiefly spruce & a species of fir (subalpinea). the firs growing highest even dwarfing at a height of about 5000 feet into lowly chaparral. This dwarfing seems to be due as much to heavy snow as to altitude, for at the same elevation on ridges where the snow can never be deep we find both the dwarfed & erect forms close together. This fir forms the most beautiful chaparral I ever saw. The flat thickly foliaged plumes, broad & fan-shaped being imbricated over each other by the pressure of the snow so that the high slopes seem to be neatly & handsomely thatched. In this form it is seldom more than 3 or 4 feet high. Yet it bears fertile cones & seems thrifty & happy as if everything was to its mind. In this dwarfed form it reaches a height of 5500 feet. At a height of 4000 feet few of the erect trees are more than 40 ft high. & one foot in dia at the ground.""The pine & spruce of the region lying


Martinez [Calif.]

Date Original

1897 Nov 16


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 09, Image 1150

Copyright Statement

The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust. To purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish or exhibit them, see )

Owning Institution

Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University Archives, Boston, Massachusetts. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.

Copyright Holder

Muir-Hanna Trust

Copyright Date


Page Number

Page 6


John Muir, correspondence, letters, author, writing, naturalist, California, correspondent, mail, message, post, exchange of letters, missive, notes, epistle