Western Larch


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British Columbia Outdoor Wilderness Guide


Westlarch1.Jpg
WESTERN LARCH
larix occidentalis

  • Western Larch is also known as Mountain Larch, Western Tamarack, Hackmatack

UNIQUE FEATURES:

  • Western Larchcan grow for up to 850 years
  • The larch is unique in that it has needles but also drops them like leaves in the fall
  • The thick bark and its habit of shedding lower branches makes the Western Larch resistant to fire

LOCATION:

  • Western Larch are found in the southern interior of British Columbia, primarily in valleys and on lower mountain slopes
  • Western Larch needs an area in full sunlight
  • Western Larch is sensitive to frost damage so low temperatures restrict its distribution

SIZE:

  • Western Larch can grow up to 80 metres

Westlarch2.Jpg

CONES:

  • long, reddish-brown
  • white hairs on the scales
  • pollen cones are yellow

Westlarch3.Gif

NEEDLES:

  • young - soft green
  • mature - yellow
  • long, in bunches of 15 to 30

BARK:

  • thick grooved plate-like on mature trees
  • cinnamon coloured scales

WOOD CHARACTERISTICS:

  • one of the strongest in Canada

USES:

  • modern - heavy construction, railway ties, pilings
  • traditional - pitch: cosmetic, pain

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Western Larch