American Larch

Larix laricina
Family Pinaceae

* Needles flat to slightly triangular, deciduous and turning yellow in fall, 4/5-1 3/5".
* Cones oval-shaped, 1/2-4/5" long.
* Bark thin, gray, reddish brown.
* Height: 40-80'.

Natural History:
* Habitat: Moist to boggy soil, in boreal forests and bogs.
* Range: Southeastern Canada and eastern United States, as well as northwestern British Columbia.
* Native.

* Tamarack is one of the only non-evergreen, needle-leaved trees. The tree's widely-spaced branches allow shrubs to grow beneath them. An enemy of the tamarack is the porcupine, who strips the tree of its leaves.

* A mature tree, one that is 50-150 years old, may have 20,000 cones.

* Native Americans used tamarack roots to sew strips of birch bark on canoes. They found that roots collected from trees in beaver ponds were the most pliant, slender, and tough.

* Naturalist John Josselyn wrote in 1672 that "the Turpentine that issueth from the Larch Tree is singularly good to heal wounds, and to draw out the malice...of any Ach rubbing the place thereof."


Created by: Allaire Diamond and Jiasuey Hsu
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: July 31, 1998
Last Modified: November 21, 2008