- 2023 Native Tree and Shrub Sale
- American Larch/Tamarack (Larix laricina)
American Larch/Tamarack (Larix laricina)
Height: 40 to 80 feet
Spread: 15 to 30 feet
Bloom Time: May
Sun: Full sun
Suggested Use: Naturalized Areas
Native to: Northern Appalachia
The definitive tree of the north, the American Larch, also known as the Tamarack, is one of the most populous trees of Canada with its native ranging dipping down into New York, Pennsylvania, and northeastern Ohio.
The American Larch is a deciduous conifer whose green needles turn a showy yellow in fall. The tree is a medium to large sized tree that has a pyramidal growth habit. It is native to wet boggy soils, but has some ability to adapt to other soils. It prefers acidic soils, allowing it to grow nicely alongside pine trees.
William Bartram offered the tree for sale in his 1792 catalog, describing the American Larch as having “elegant figure & foliage.” John Bartram was first introduced to the American Larch by fellow John Clayton who sent him some seeds and saplings. Clayton marveled at the tree that was such a critical component of the First Nation people. The Native Americans used the fibrous and stringy roots of the tree for thread to stitch birch bark canoes, clothing, and moccasins together. American Larch is also well used for it rot resistant wood with the lumber being used for houses, railroad ties, and fence posts.
The American Larch is a noted host plant for over 30 species of the butterflies and moths with Jefferson County being on the extreme southern end of many of these species. The cones of the tree are a great food source for a variety of birds and mammals.
The tree provides great contrast texture, and interest in the landscape.■