Western Larch

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Western Larch

View photo of tree | bark | needles

(aka Tamarack)
(Larix occidentalis)


Size at 150 years: 100-160 feet tall, 1 1/2 to 3 feet in diameter

Life Span: 500+ years

Needles: Crowded deciduous in a cluster of 14-30, 1/2" long on spur twigs. Turn brilliant gold in the fall, then drop to the ground.

Cones: 1 to 1 1/2" long with bract protruding from each cone scale.

Bark: Reddish-brown. Flat plates on mature trees.

Where to find: Mountain slopes and valleys on gravelly, sandy or loamy soils. Often found in mixed forests.

Things to know: Often follows or survives fires. Grouse eat buds and leaves. Valuable wood for construction, paneling, flooring, and utility poles. Highly sought as hot, clean burning firewood. Changes color with season.

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