Key ID Features: Needle Clusters, Cones, Habitat, Fall Color
Other Names: Eastern Larch, American Larch, Hackmatack
Tamarack is unique among native conifers in that is loses all the NEEDLES
each fall in a blaze of gold. Up to a couple dozen needles grow in clusters from
the end of small SPUR BRANCHES along the twigs. The needles are about an
inch long and are very soft.
The CONES are small and roundish, about a half-inch in size.
The BARK is dark gray and flaky, similar to black spruce.
Tamarack forms a very straight and tall TRUNK with little taper. The
wood is somewhat rot-resistant and is very hard.
Either in pure stands or often associated with black spruce, tamarack generally can be found in
WETLANDS, but actually is a very rapid grower on upland sites.
Common pests: larch casebearer, dwarf mistletoe, porcupines.