Definition of krummholz in US English:



  • Stunted windblown trees growing near the tree line on mountains.

    • ‘Most dens or attempted dens are in peat banks beneath krummholz spruce and occasionally in peat banks without any trees, or in inorganic sediments along eroded river banks.’
    • ‘The dens were usually dug into embankments within or beneath black spruce that were forming a krummholz of cloned stems.’
    • ‘Our chill mountaion camp on the chilcotin side of the Coast Mountains lay near the treeline, where clearcut gave way to krummholz, the low, twisty trees of the alpine tundra.’
    • ‘Indeed this is observed: there are often slowly growing populations of seedlings, saplings and krummholz trees above the tree line.’
    • ‘Wood samples were taken from heavily damaged areas of 22 black spruce krummholz at eight den sites and from four trees located near the dens but with no apparent damage.’


Early 20th century: from German, literally ‘crooked wood’.