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Tamarack (S)

Scientific Name

Larix laricina

Wildlife Value


Average height




Shade Tolerance

Very Intolerant

Drought Tolerance


Growth Rate




Special Characteristics

Needles turn gold and drop in fall

Seedling Size12" to 18"



General Description

It is a small to medium-size deciduous coniferous tree and has been able to survive extremely cold temperatures along with living for a couple of centuries or more. Prolonged flooding can easily damage the tree along with fire. The tamarack prefers acidic soils and nutrient-poor wetlands.



Many insect species are known to be destructive to tamaracks. The larch sawfly is the most destructive. Epidemics occur periodically across Canada and the northern United States and have caused tremendous losses of merchantable tamarack throughout most of the tree's range. Another serious defoliator is the larch casebearer. The larch casebearer attacks tamarack of all ages, and several severe outbreaks have caused extensive mortality in some areas. Only a few other insects and related organisms (such as mites) that feed on tamarack are known to sometimes cause serious injury. During an outbreak the spruce budworm can severely damage tamarack. The larch bud moth has had occasional short epidemics, and the spruce spider mite is occasionally found in large numbers on tamarack. The larch shoot moth is widely distributed but serious injury is unusual. One of the most common bark beetles attacking tamarack is the eastern larch beetle, but it feeds mainly on weakened, dying, or dead trees.



Shelterbelts and/or windbreaks: The wood is used principally for pulpwood, but also for posts, poles, rough lumber, and fuelwood. Wildlife use the tree for food and nesting. It is also grown as an ornamental tree in gardens.  

Tamarack (bundle of 25)

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