Tamarack

photo by Kate Ter Haar CC BY

Eastern Larch

Tamarack is found across Canada and in the northeastern United States. Unlike most conifers, its needles turn golden and drop in the fall, growing new greenish-blue needles every spring. The needles are 5-7 in long and grow in clusters of 15-25.

Tamarack is a thin, medium-sized tree (50-65 ft) with reddish-brown bark that becomes scaly as the tree ages. It is often found alongside Black Spruce in bogs or marshes or on cool, moist, north-facing slopes.

Both male and female cones may appear on the same branch. Male cones look like small mounds of yellow or brown pollen sacs. The female cones look like small pine cones. When mature, the female cones are brown, .4-.8 in long, on short curved stalks.

Could it be? Western Larch looks much like Tamarack but is only found in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest and is very tall.

Did you know? Tamarack can tolerate very cold temperatures and can be found at the edge of the tundra on the Arctic tree line.

See Also: Balsam Fir, Common Juniper, Douglas-fir, Engelmann Spruce, Jack Pine, Lodgepole Pine, Rocky Mountain Juniper, Spruce, Western Hemlock, Western Larch, Western Redcedar, Whitebark Pine