[a.k.a. American Larch]
[Larix laricina, Larix americana]
The Tamarack Larch is one of our more unique species in that it is technically NOT an evergreen tree [an evergreen conifer], but is rather a deciduous conifer. Its light blue-green needles, which are longer than most spruces but shorter than most pines, turn a spectacular golden color in the fall and then drop to create a carpet of wonderful needles across the ground. These can be gathered up and used as a mulch or bark substitute around other plants in your landscape. Larch are therefore not suitable for use as Christmas trees [unless your name is Charlie Brown!] or for privacy in the winter. In the spring they green up at about the same rate as leafy deciduous trees, and can reach a mature height of 65 feet. Tamarack Larch shipped around mid-Oct or later will sport either rich, golden yellow needles, just a few golden needles, or no needles at all. By mid to late Spring they will break bud and begin sprouting new green needles, thus returning to their rich and fully green appearance.
Tamaracks branch quite readily, so if the main trunk experiences die-off due to winterburn or other damage, a branch will quickly step in as the new trunk. If you see multiple trunks developing after planting, trim the less desirable one[s] to only half of its original length, resulting in those trimmed ones becoming branches. The tallest, untrimmed branch will take over as the trunk.
Other unique features of the Tamarack Larch include its ability to handle extremely cold winter temperatures, growing all the way up to the Arctic tundra. Another is its ability to grow in low, swampy soils near streams and ponds [they like to have “wet feet”], so an ideal planting location is where the mud tries to suck your boots off. We grow them literally in puddles of water. When shipped they have rather short roots [4-6 inches] and cannot reach very far enough down to get the water they really need. Therefore a good rule of thumb is that one cannot overwater a Tamarack and should water them A LOT, because in a typical yard environment they need to have deep well-established roots or they may struggle in the first summer.
The seed-bearing pine cones of the Tamarack Larch turn from bright red to brown as they prepare to release their seeds. The wood is flexible and very rot resistant, making it a great choice for making snowshoes [back when people actually needed snowshoes]. Today the Tamarack Larch is often used for ornamental purposes, and is also a favorite for bonsai. The word Tamarack is of Native American origin.
Although Eastern Larch Beetles are known to attack Tamarack Larch, the beetles prefer already weakened or dying trees. Healthy Tamaracks are generally left alone by pests.
Crop is very limited, will only be available as a conservation grade plug transplant [soon]