Friday, April 24, 2009

Larch Tree

Larch is the common name for trees of the genus larix of the pine family. Ten species occur naturally in North American species, the eastern larch, or tamarack, L. laricina, and the western larch, L. occidentalis, have commercial value. The main distinguishing characteristic of larches is that although they are pines they are deciduous, losing their foliage in the winter. The bark is thick and scaly, and needles are pale or bight green, turning yellow in autumn. The European larch, L. deciduas, is an important continental tree used for reforestation in the eastern United States. The Japanese larch, L. Kaempferi forests of larch are sometimes destroyed by the larch sawfly.

The Japanese larch, like other larches, loses its leaves in winter. Larches are among the few deciducus conifers.

In favorable situations the Larch grows to a height of from eighty to upwards of a hundred feet, and has been known to reach 140 feet, with a diameter of from three to five feet; and it is stated to sometimes exceed eighty feet in height in fifty years, and to live to an age of from 150 to 200 years. Unlike the Spruce and many other Firs, its growth is rapid from the first, reaching fifteen or twenty feet within twelve years of its being sown, whilst for the first forty or fifty years of its life its average annual increase in girth in Scotland is stated to be from an inch to an inch and a half.

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