Larix laricina

Tamarack is a deciduous conifer of generally of northern distribution. Scattered local populations exist along the fringes of the main distribution, occuring as far south as Maryland and West Virginia. Tamarack is often found in saturated, organic matter rich environments. The soft green tufts of needles turn golden in autumn.

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Light Fall Color Water
Growth   Size

Timber Value

      Tamarack is principally used for pulp products, posts, poles, mine timbers, railroad ties, rough lumber, boxes, crates, and fuelwood.

Wildlife Value
      Porcupines eat the inner-bark; snowshoe hares eat seedlings; red squirrels and birds eat the seeds
          Attracts: white throated sparrow, song sparrow, veery, common yellowthroat, Nashville warbler, American osprey, porcupines, rabbits, red squirrels

Regeneration methods
      Tamarack is very intolerant of shade, except during early life stages. Clearcuts of varying sizes and seed-tree methods are appropriate for regeneration.

Important Problems Early Detection tips
larch sawfly defoliation, loss of vigor

Fun facts
Tamarack wood is heavy, hard, and durable. A specialty pulp is made from tamarack that is used to produce envelope windows. Young stems in Alaska are used for dogsled runners.
Larix: Latin name / laricina: pertaining to larch
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2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.

questions, comments, and criticisms: email John.Peterson@vt.edu