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Tamarack

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A tall spire-like coniferous tree with deciduous needles starting bright green in spring and turning brilliant gold in fall; prefers extremely moist locations and sandy soils; can look a little odd in winter without needles, but shines the other 3 seasons

Characteristics

Species:
laricina
Other Species Names:
American Larch
Average Landscape Height:
50 feet
Average Landscape Width:
20 feet
Genus:
Larix
Branching:
excurrent
Plant Form:
pyramidal
Canopy:
low
Density:
open
Growth Rate:
slow
Pruning:
best if not pruned
Summer Foliage Color:
sea green
Fall Color:
gold
Maximum Light:
full sun
Minimum Light:
partial shade
Maximum Moisture:
wet
Minimum Moisture:
average

Ornamental Features

Tamarack is primarily valued in the landscape for its distinctively pyramidal habit of growth. It has bluish-green deciduous foliage which emerges light green in spring. The needle-like leaves turn an outstanding gold in the fall. The rough gray bark and gold branches add an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Tamarack is an open deciduous tree with a strong central leader and a distinctive and refined pyramidal form. It lends an extremely fine and delicate texture to the landscape composition which can make it a great accent feature on this basis alone.

Planting & Growing

Tamarack will grow to be about 50 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 20 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 60 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for acidic soils. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided. This species is native to parts of North America.

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