Larix decidua

needlesA small, slender tree also called the European Larch which rarely grows more than 45 feet tall. It has delicate, deciduous foliage.

The larch is not a true evergreen since it is one of the few conifers which lose their leaves in winter. It is a tall tree with a straight, central trunk and many spreading branches. It grows 40 to 80 feet tall.

The leaves are needlelike, but are flat, soft, slender, 3/4 to 1-1/4 inches long and borne in clusters on spurlike branches. In the spring the needles are bright green and very soft and flexible. In the fall they turn a dull yellow just before falling off.

The cone is small and nearly spherical, 1/2 to 3/4 inches long. The young cones are reddish to green in color, turning brown as they mature often remaining on the tree for several years. As they mature and open in the fall, they liberate small, winged seeds.

The twigs are light brown to gray in color, and covered with numerous tiny spurs or short branches. The rough bark separates on the surface into thin, reddish brown scales.


Identify Another Tree

This key was developed by "bt" in June 1982. It was put into HTML format by Stephen Ostermiller in July 1997. Copies of the entire guide in zip format that may be taken to camp on a laptop are available to those who write.