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Tamarack Larix laricina


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credit: Anneli Salo/CCSA

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Alternate name: American Larch

Family: Pinaceae, Pine view all from this family

Description Small to medium deciduous coniferous tree. Bark brown, tight, flaky, can appear reddish under flaking. Needles light blue-green, 2–3 cm. (0.8–1.2 in.) long, spiral, on long shoots, in dense clusters. In autumn turning bright yellow before they fall, leaving pale pinkish-brown shoots bare until spring. Cones bright red, turning brown, smallest of any larch, 1–2.3 cm. (0.4–0.9 in.) long, 12-25 seed scales open to release winged seeds.

Dimensions Height: 12-24 m. (40-80 ft.)
Diameter: 0.3-0.6 m. (1-2 ft.).

Habitat Swamps (fresh & salt).

Range Eastern Canada, Mid-Atlantic, Plains, Alaska, New England, Great Lakes.

Discussion Tamarack is the Algonquian Native American name for the species. Wood tough, durable, flexible in thin strips, was used by the Algonquian people for snowshoes and products where toughness was required. Natural crooks located in stumps and roots preferred for creating knees in wooden boats. Currently used for pulpwood, posts, poles, rough lumber, and fuelwood. Wildlife use the tree for food and nesting.