Larix decidua – The Larch Tree

Hello Garden Friends!

Hope your summer season was fantastic and full of wonderful memories, we have only about seven more days and the fall solstice will be officially upon us (September 22, 2021). When those cooler and much awaited less humid days come you may be interested in planting a Larch Tree!

If you love the effect of an evergreen tree and also the brilliant color of a deciduous tree the larch tree has both of these characteristics. They are conifers that are needled and look like an evergreen in the spring and summer but when fall comes its needles turn golden yellow and drop to the ground.

The needles of a Larch are about an inch long and are arranged in little clusters along the stem, each cluster having about 30 to 40  needles. Within the needles you will find pink flowers that eventually become cones. The cones start out red or yellow and turn brown when they mature.

34,003 Larch Tree Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

In North America they are native to the northern parts of this continent and happiest in cold climates. They are best grown in mountainous areas but can tolerate just a cool climate with plenty of moisture. Zones 6 and below they like best but in some of our 7 zones they may do ok. Most larch trees are quite large growing between 50 and 80 feet. But for us gardeners with less space there are some varieties to investigate. Larix decidua ‘Varied Directions’ grows 15 feet. ‘Puli’ is a dwarf European version that has amazing weeping branches  held close to its trunk groups up to 8ft tall and 2 feet wide.

Weeping Larch Full Tree

‘Tamarack’ Larix laricina a native to America grows 75 feet tall

American Tamarack

and ‘Pendula’ Larix decidua a shrubby type of larch becomes a ground cover and spreading 30 feet if you do not stake it.


It is easy to grow a larch tree just plant where it can get six hours of sunlight each day and it can take a frozen winter with ease, they don’t like dry soil so water them often or place in moist/damp soil.

Think about the larch tree and maybe give it a try!

Till next time do one more cool summer thing and then bring out the sweaters, jeans, boots and cozy blankets and prepare to nestle next to an open bonfire or homemade fire pit, take a hayride or visit a farm for all that lovely fall produce and then enjoy putting your garden to bed for a nice winter’s nap. So long for now!