baumzaehlen - Primeval Forests & Their Trees

©2017 copyright christoph hase

Durmitor National Park, Montenegro - Crna poda

Durmitor National Park is the best-known nature destination in Montenegro. It is a mountainous area at 700-2500 metres above sea level. The magnificent Tara Canyon (max. depth 1300m) lies in the eastern extension of the park. The locals claim that, after the Grand Canyon, it is the second deepest in the world, but in both the Himalayas and the Andes there are much deeper canyons than either of the aforementioned.

Crna poda (elev. 840-940 metres) is a terrace formed in the middle of a very steep slope of Tara Canyon. Almost level terrain has allowed deep soil to accumulate and
Opens internal link in current window Pinus nigra (European black pine) , which otherwise grows stunted on steep slopes, has formed a fantastic forest. Shade tolerant 1 and shade casting Opens internal link in current window Fagus sylvatica (European beech) is invading the forest, preventing the regeneration of shade-intolerant 2 P. nigra . Now the forest looks like a normal Fagus forest which has an additional emergent layer of P. nigra . The P. nigra trees are about 400 years old. Jeroen Philippona*, Michael Spraggon and I Opens external link in new window measured a P. nigra of 47.4 metres using Nikon 550 instruments in 2012. This is the tallest reliably measured P. nigra we are aware of. Crna poda is not completely virgin: some stumps can be seen. Tree species diversity is low and tree identification easy. There are no trails but the undergrowth is sparse to non-existent and walking easy. There is a road running through the forest. In July 2012, wildfires burned small parts of Crna poda.

Elsewhere the forests of the park are selectively logged and grazed by cattle. There is also the small Zminje Jezero Prašumski Rezervat (primeval forest reserve, elev. 1500-1600 metres), but despite the name it is not primeval forest: it hardly differs from the forest outside the reserve, and there are a lot of stumps, openings and young forest.

Camping is allowed only at designated camping grounds (no camping grounds in Crna poda).

* Jeroen’s www-site: Opens external link in new window


1 Lyr, H., Fiedler, H. J. & Tranquillini, W. (1992): Physiologie und Ökologie der Gehölze. Fischer.

2 Debreczy, Z. & Rácz, I. (2012): Opens external link in new window Conifers Around the World . DendroPress.

Official site:

Pinus nigra (European black pine), large trees; Fagus sylvatica (European beech), smaller trees.
Tara Canyon with Crna poda on the left. Fagus sylvatica (European beech), bottom left. Pinus nigra (European black pine), behind F. sylvatica and top right.
Pinus nigra (European black pine), large trees; Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple), left; Prunus avium (wild cherry), right centre, with horisontal stripes; Fagus sylvatica (European beech), other smaller trees.
47.4-metre Pinus nigra (European black pine), centre. Also Fagus sylvatica (European beech) and Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple) foliage, top left.
Pinus nigra (European black pine).
Acer platanoides (Norway maple). Also Pinus nigra (European black pine), background.
Fraxinus excelsior (European ash) in Fagus sylvatica (European beech) forest.
Tara Canyon with Crna Poda in the centre.
Some tree species of Crna Poda.