American Tamarack 6-12" Seedlings

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American Tamarack 6-12" seedlings

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American Tamarack

Larix laricina

The American Tamarack certainly looks and acts like a pine tree during the growing season.  However, unlike most conifers which keep their color and needles year round, the blueish green needles on these trees turn yellow and orange in autumn.  The needles then fall off at the end of the season.  In spring, soft new growth emerges and the cycle starts over once again.  Consider a European Larch for low areas that dry out once in a while.

  • Zones
    2 to 7
  • Soil Type
    Clay, Loamy & Sandy soils
  • Site Selection
    Full Sun
  • Mature Height & Width
    50-70' Height and 20-30' Spread
  • Growth Rate
    Slow to Moderate - 10-18" per year on average
  • Moisture Requirements
    Average to wetter soils

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The American Tamarack is sometimes also known as the American Larch, Eastern Larch, Alaskan Larch and the Hackmatack.

The American Tamarack is a medium to large conifer that holds a special secret.  Unlike most other conifers who are also evergreens, the American Tamarack's needles turn a beautiful yellow-orange color in fall and ultimately drop off the tree.  The silhouette is interesting in form with its branches showing during the winter months.  In spring, new soft green foliage emerges and the entire process starts again.  This Tamarack makes a good choice for your low lying areas that such as wetlands and bogs.  This tree will grow well in other areas as long as there is adequate moisture.

Common uses for the American Tamarack:

  • Specimen tree with unique foliage
  • Fall color, needles turn yellow before falling
  • Naturalizing lowland areas in and around wetlands
  • Commonly used as a bonsai tree

The American Tamarack has minimal value to wildlife.  Some birds will use the limbs for perching and basic cover.  Snowshoe hares sometimes feed on twigs and bark and porucpines feed on the inner bark.  Spruce, Blue and Sharp-Tailed Grouse will consume the needles and buds.  Red squirrels will cache tamarack cones.  The Pine Siskin, crossbills and a few other seed eating birds consume the seeds from its cones.

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