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PlantFiles: Tamarack, American Larch, Hackmatack, Eastern Larch, Red Larch
Larix laricina

Family: Pinaceae (py-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Larix (LAR-iks) (Info)
Species: laricina (lar-uh-SEE-nuh) (Info)

Synonym:Larix americana
Synonym:Pinus laricina

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

6 members have or want this plant for trade.


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)
over 40 ft. (12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)

USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)
USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage
Good Fall Color

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; direct sow after last frost
By grafting

Seed Collecting:
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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3 positives
4 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative Marcelde On Jul 3, 2014, Marcelde from Cheshire, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

This Larch is growing in coastal Oregon but even in July has lost most of its needles. Never-the-less it continues to gain height!

Positive Rickwebb On Mar 7, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

I have seen it growing in the swamps of the northwoods in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin. I have seen some growing in central Wisconsin along Route 41 near the Kettle Moraine area, and I finally visited Volo Bog in northeast Illinois, just south of Fox Lake off Route 59, to view a big colony along the bog and lake. It has a wonderful airy, bright green, fine texture. It can be grown in regular landscapes in the North from USDA Zones 2 to 5. There are a few cultivars that have been developed for landscapes. I looked for some at Morton Arboretum in northern Illinois in August 2013 in their wetlands area, but did not find any; it seems they died out there. I found one planted in the conifer collection at Cantigni Gardens in Wheaton, IL. The European Larch is the most used species in northern landscapes and some Japanese, which adapt more easily to landscape conditions. The only way I can be sure it is American and not Eurasian is that this native species has needles in clusters of 12 to 30 rather than 30 to 40, and its cones are smaller of 1/3 to 2/3" long rather than 1 to 1.5" long.

Neutral theNobody14161 On Jan 12, 2010, theNobody14161 from Kalamazoo, MI wrote:

Mresfeatherflower, If tamarack gets enough cold water it should do fine.

Neutral msfeatherflower On Sep 12, 2009, msfeatherflower from Sugar Land, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I live in Houston, Texas and just received a one gallon seedling of this tree (about 24" tall) that had originally been growing in Wisconsin. Is there any hope that this tree will grow here? What would be the best growing conditons for it?

Positive Malus2006 On Feb 26, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

There are small patches of American Larch not too far from my house in a swamp environment. They are also found further north, into Elk River, and I have seen mature speciments into the swamps of the Minnesota Arboretum. Very slow growing but would grows quickly under ideal conditions. American Larch is rarely offered in the plant trade because it loves cool conditions and require damp to swampy soil and perform lousy in average soil unless you are lucky! Peterson Field Guides said European Larch have longer needles but it is tough without compare the two side to side.

Neutral smiln32 On Jan 31, 2005, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Nice tree for bonsai. Native to North America. Likes moist soil. Pruning may be done in autumn and winter. Cuttings can be taken in late summer. Needles appear in a brush-like habit along the branches - light blue-green in summer and yellow in autumn.

Positive lmelling On Nov 2, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

At first glance, and seeing this tree in summer, you would group Tamarack AKA Larch, in with other "evergreen" conifers, however, these trees drop their needles in fall and go through the winter bare-branched unlike pines, spruces and true evergreens. Here in zone 5, Tamarack generally keep their green color until late into October and around the first of November the needles will turn a bright yellow and then drop. Needles start to appear generally in late April or early May the following spring.

Larch cones usually run 1" - 1-1/2" long and form a many petalled egg-like shape. They are often used in crafts.

Neutral smiln32 On Aug 26, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Mature individuals are typically between 50 and 75 feet tall, although occasional specimens reach over 100 feet. Tamarack has one of the widest ranges of all North American conifers.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Anchorage, Alaska
Ingleside, Illinois
South China, Maine
Traverse City, Michigan
Brainerd, Minnesota
Binghamton, New York
Cheshire, Oregon
Newport Center, Vermont
Kansasville, Wisconsin

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