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tamarack 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.

range map Click to see more images. fall color

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

Water
A northern tree commonly found in wet areas along streams and surrounding bogs where it may occur in almost pure stands.

Growth

Size
Open, narrow, conical crown; trunk straight, grows to 80 feet; 1 1/2 feet in diameter.

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

Insects and Diseases

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.

Latin Meaning
Larix: Latin name / laricina: pertaining to larch

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Landowner Factsheets © 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.