Trees and Shrubs
Chiricahua National Monument has a great variety of trees and shrubs. Growing at elevations from around 5000 to over 7000 feet, the habitat transitions from lowland desert scrub to upper elevation pine-fir forests. The prominant species include manzanita, Arizona Sycamore, alligator juniper, oaks, pines, Arizona cypress, madrone, and acacia. Mesquite and acacia occur at lower elevations, intermixed with the grasslands and other "desert" plants, such as agave and rabbitbrush. Cottonwoods, sycamores, and willows are found in the canyon bottoms, where a narrow riparian corridor forms along the ephemeral streams. As the elevation rises, the species change to a more pine and oak dominated, mature forest. The apache pine, douglas fir and ponderosa pines tower above, while oaks, manzita and bunchgrasses grow sparsely in the shaded forest floor. Pinyons are most common at the highest elevations, with juniper, cypress and a variety of shrubs.
Did You Know?
Chiricahua National Monument is home to many coati-mundi. Because the Chiricahua mountain range is situated at a biological cross-roads, species from Mexico's Sierra Madres make their way north. They are trapped here in our ‘sky-islands,’ though, by ‘seas’ of desert which they cannot cross.