Tamarack is a boreal larch tree belonging to the pine family. The medium to large tree has a beautiful coloration especially during the fall, when the foliage are about to shed.
|Scientific Name||Larix laricina|
|Also Known as||Eastern larch, red larch, hackmatack, black larch, American larch|
|Tree Type||Coniferous and deciduous|
|Identification||Size: 33-66 ft in height (10-20 m)
Trunk Diameter: 2 ft (0.6 cm)
Needles: 1-1.1 in (2-3 cm) sea-green in color
Bark: Pink, sometimes looks reddish
Cones: 0.39- 0.098 in (1-2.5 cm) bright red in general and turns to brown while releasing the seeds
|Distribution||Canada, northwestern U.S.A|
|Habitat||Conifer forest, Tundra|
|Growing Conditions||Sun: Full exposure
Water: Plenty of water (constant)
Soil: moist organic soil (sphagnum), wet, swamps, coarse sand, heavy clay and calcareous soils
|Diseases & Pests||Diseases: Larch canker caused by Lachnellula willkommii fungus
Pest: Sawfly, larch looper, Japanese beetle, tussock moth, woolly aphids and larch case-bearer
|Seedling Development||Germinates well under the direct sunlight|
|Companion Plants||Labrador Tea, false Solomon’s-seal, sedges, and red twig dogwood|
|Wildlife Value||The seeds are food to red squirrels, while seedlings are common treat for snowshoe hares, the inner bark of the tree is fed by porcupines. Birds like song sparrow, white-throated sparrow, common yellowthroat, Nashville warbler, and veery use the tree for nesting|
|Uses||The wood is used for making snowhorse and other sturdy things like knee of a wooden boat, fuelwood, poles, posts, and pulpwood|
|IUCN Conservation Status||Least Concern|
- The name of the tree is an Algonquian (a Native American language group) term means the wood used for snowshoes.
- Although it grows well in the full exposure of light, the tree has a tremendous power to withstand cold temperatures down to -85°F.
- The indigenous people of north Canada used the inner bark of the tree to heal hemorrhoids, frostbite, wounds, and cuts. The roots and outer bar were also used with a mixture of other tree parts as a remedy of pain, aches, and arthritis.