In Asia it occurs on the Caucasus and Ural, and in some parts of the Altaic chain.
The tree is very widely distributed, growing abundantly on most of the mountain ranges of northern and central Europe; while in Asia it occurs at least as far east as the Lena, and in latitude extends from the Altaic ranges to beyond the Arctic circle.
Chamberlain (Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan, vol.x.), who, in a preface justly regarded by students of Japan as an exegetical classic, makes the pertinent comment: Taking the word AltaIc in its usual acceptation, viz, as the generic name of all the languages belonging to the Manchu, Mongolian, Turkish and Finnish groups, not only the archaic, but the .classical, literature of Japan carries us back several centuries beyond the earliest extant documents of any other Altaic tongue.
A score of species, it is true - not such a number, be it observed, as was formerly supposed - are common to the Alps and Altai, but absent from the Arctic. But the species composing this Altaic element are not so numerous as the arctico-alpine species that are absent from the Altai.