Eastern Larch, American Larch or Tamarack (Larix laricina)
American Larch is one of the hardiest trees in North America, however they are not terribly tolerant of pollution, wind and ice. American larch will grow to a maximum height of 50 to 80 feet at maturity. Typically the span of its strongly horizontal branches measures 1/2 to 2/3 its height. This tree is an open, pyramidal shaped tree with drooping branchlets. A fast grower in youth, this larch will grow 1 1/2 to 2 feet a year during its first 50 years, slowing after that. After 25 to 30 years the tree is self-pruning, dropping the branches of the bottom half of their length. Its normal lifespan is 150 to 180 years.
American larches bear finely textured inch long needles that emerge in clusters spiraling around the branches. The flowers of the American larch are cones that appear when a tree is about 15 years old. From 1/2 to 3/4 inches long, the bright reddish purple female cones and smaller, yellow male ones appear upright along the twigs in May just before the foliage appears. The flowers give way in autumn to light brown 1/2 inch cones. They usually remain on the tree for a year or so, serving as food for small animals and songbirds when they finally drop to the ground.
Eastern Larch Choices -
Newport Beauty is a globe-shaped dwarf.