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Tamarack

Golden autumn tamarack needles

Tamarack

Tamarack tree ID information TreeNA post

About the tamarack tree

Tamarack (Eastern larch, Tamarack larch) - Larix laricina

Identification: Tamaracks are identified by their graceful, spruce-like pyramid shape and soft, feathery 1-inch needle bundles which emerge in spring and turn bright gold before dropping in the fall. Needles are formed in bundles of 10-20. Tamaracks produce small flowers which form small, pinkish cones. Tamarack bark is a scaly red-brown with darker red-brown showing between the scales.

Height: 40-80 feet 

Preferences: Full sun. Hardiness zones 2-5. Prefers cool, wet conditions such as swamps.

Wildlife value: Tamaracks form habitat and cover for birds and mammals but are not a major food source for many species. Bald eagles sometimes nest in tamaracks. Red squirrels are known to cache tamarack cones, grouse eat their needles and buds, and porcupines will eat their inner bark.

Uses: Tamarack is sometimes used as a specimen tree in landscaping for its year-round visual appeal. Tamarack is not a major commercial timber species. In the United States, it is primarily used for pulpwood and sometimes used for posts, poles and mine timbers because the wood is heavy and decay-resistant.