Larch Jap larix kaemptera branchesJapanese larch like other larches is a deciduous conifer. In spring the needle-like sea green foliage marked with two white bands appears on the pendulous brachlets turning dark green in summer, and yellow-gold in the fall. The autumn coloration is the trees’s chief asset and is especially beautiful when set off with a backdrop of evergreen conifers. The reddish-brown bark that peels in long strips to reveal red beneath, and the persistent rosebud shaped cones add winter interest. A tall tree, Japanese larch is best used as a landscape specimen or in parks, golf courses, and other large areas. Although it is easy to transplant and tolerates shallow, acid soils it does not tolerate shade, drought or pollution.

Type: Deciduous conifer

Outstanding Features: Fall coloration; persistent cones; peeling bark

Form: Open, pyramidal, with drooping branches

Growth Rate: Medium to fast

Mature cones

Bloom: Male and female cones are produced on the same tree; 1-1½” cones are produced in a single year and persist on the tree.

Size: 80-90’ H x 30-40’ W

Light: Full sun

Soil: Average, moist, well-drained, slightly acidic

Hardiness: Zones 5-7

Care: Prune in midsummer

Pests and Diseases: Susceptible to larch case-bearer, woolly aphid, and sawfly

Propagation: Seeds, grafts, cuttings; cultivars by grafts

Outstanding Selection: ‘Pendula’ (small with very drooping branches).

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By Karen