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Western Larch

Larix occidentalis • Tamarack


Western larch is one of the largest larches, it can grow up to 80 meters tall and live 850 years of age. It occurs in south-eastern British Columbia and throughout Alberta. It can be found growing in valleys and on the lower slopes of mountains in the southern Interior and prefers mixed forests but can occasionally be found in pure groups of trees after a severe wildfire.


Flattened above, kneeled below, triangular in cross section, 3-5 cm long, shiny pale green, 15-30 per tuft.


Conelets 10-20 mm long, red. Mature cones ovoid, 3-5 cm long, reddish-brown; about 30 scales, hairy on the lower side, tips curving toward cone base when the cone is open; bract tip extends beyond the scale. Seed production begins at 15-25 years, abundant by 50 years, often continuing for 200 years and more. Seeds produced in most years, abundantly every 4 or 5 years.


Reddish-brown, scaly when young, becoming thick (up to 15 cm), deeply furrowed with flat flaky ridges.

186 Trees

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