Ancient larches of Ulten
At about 1,430 m above sea level next to the village of St. Gertraud in Ultental, you can see three ancient larches that have been standing here since about 1,000 years. In fact, the three trees are among the oldest conifers all over Europe. And maybe, the ancient larches were in the valley before the first inhabitants came, too.
The three historical trees cannot tell us what has happened around them during this long period indeed. The grooves in the thick bark, the branches formed by the winds and the long roots that have dug into the soil absorbing energy from it, are proof of an eventful past and allow us to imagine, how many people have had a rest in their shadows.
Impressive giant trees
The size of the trees is considerable, the trunk has a diameter between 7 and 8 meters, and they are about 35 meters high. The trees could probably be much higher if there were no thunderbolts and storms. Until 1930, there was a forth larch that fell unfortunately because of a heavy storm. There was one advantage of this fallen larch too: it was possible to count the about 2,000 tree rings on the trunk in order to estimate its age.
If you would like to visit this attraction of nature, you can reach the ancient larches via an easy walking path starting below St. Gertraud, taking about 30 minutes. Information panels in three languages give a detailed insight into the peculiarities of the three larches. Next to them, you can also find a small rest area with benches and an old fountain made of larch wood. Here, hikers and nature lovers can have a rest in the shadow of these ancient inhabitants of Ultental.