Tag Archives: Larix

Larix laricina

Botanical Name : Larix laricina
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Larix
Species: L. laricina
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales

Synonyms:Larix americana.

Common Name :Tamarack,  Hackmatack eastern larch, Black larch, Red larch, or American larch

Habitat:  Larix laricina is native to Northern N. America – Alaska to Labrador, south to West Virginia. It  often forms pure forests in the south of its range in swamps and wet soils sometimes also on dry plateau or slopes in the north of its range.

Description:
Larix laricina is a small to medium-size deciduous coniferous tree reaching 10–20 metres (33–66 ft) tall, with a trunk up to 60 centimetres (24 in) diameter.The tamarack is not an evergreen. The bark is tight and flaky, pink, but under flaking bark it can appear reddish. The leaves are needle-like, 2–3 cm (0.8–1.2 in) short, light blue-green, turning bright yellow before they fall in the autumn, leaving the pale pinkish-brown shoots bare until the next spring. The needles are produced spirally on long shoots and in dense clusters on long woody spur shoots. The cones are the smallest of any larch, only 1–2.3 cm (0.4–0.9 in) long, with 12-25 seed scales; they are bright red, turning brown and opening to release the seeds when mature, 4–6 months after pollination.

Flowering and fruiting:
Tamarack is monoecious. Male and female flowers are small, solitary, and appear with the needles. Male flowers are yellow and are borne mainly on 1- or 2-year-old branchlets. Female flowers are reddish and are borne most commonly on 2- to 4-year-old branchlets but may also appear on branchlets 5 or more years old. Cones usually are produced on young growth of vigorous trees. On open-grown trees, cones are borne on all parts of the crown. Ripe cones are brown, oblong-ovoid, and 13 to 19 mm (½ to ¾ in) long.

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Key characteristics:

*The needles are normally borne on a short shoot in groups of 10–20 needles.
*The Larch is deciduous and the needles turn yellow in autumn.
*The seed cones are small, less than 2 cm (0.8 in) long, with lustrous brown scales.
*Larch are commonly found in swamps, bogs, and other low-land areas.

 

Cultivation:  
Prefers an open airy position in a light or gravelly well-drained soil. Plants are intolerant of shade. Tolerates acid and infertile soils and waterlogged soils. Succeeds on rocky hill or mountain sides and slopes. A north or east aspect is more suitable than west or south. This species is very cold-hardy when fully dormant, but the trees can be excited into premature growth in Britain by mild spells during the winter and they are then very subject to damage by late frosts and cold winds. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Planted for forestry in Europe, they are not suitable for this purpose in Britain. Growth is normally slow in this country with average height increases of less than 30cm per year. The trees are generally not long-lived. Planting them in boggy soil may improve growth rates. Open ground plants, 1 year x 1 year are the best for planting out, do not use container grown plants with spiralled roots. Plants transplant well, even when coming into growth in the spring. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.

Propagation :    
Seed – sow late winter in pots in a cold frame. One months cold stratification helps germination. It is best to give the seedlings light shade for the first year[78]. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick out the seedlings into individual pots. Although only a few centimetres tall, they can be planted out into their permanent positions in the summer providing you give them an effective weed-excluding mulch and preferably some winter protection for their first year. Otherwise grow them on in the cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in early summer of the following year. The seed remains viable for 3 years If you are growing larger quantities of plants, you can sow the seed in an outdoor seedbed in late winter. Grow on the seedlings in the seedbed for a couple of years until they are ready to go into their permanent positions then plant them out during the winter.

 

Edible Uses  :     
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Tea.

The young shoots are used as an emergency food. A tea is made from the roots. A tea is made from the branches and needles.

Medicinal Uses:

Alterative;  Astringent;  Disinfectant;  Diuretic;  Expectorant;  Laxative;  Poultice;  Salve;  Tonic.

Tamarack was employed medicinally by a number of native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a variety of complaints. It is little used in modern herbalism. A tea made from the bark is alterative, diuretic, laxative and tonic. It is used in the treatment of jaundice, anaemia, rheumatism, colds and skin ailments. It is gargled in the treatment of sore throats and applied as a poultice to sores, swellings and burns. A tea made from the leaves is astringent. It is used in the treatment of piles, diarrhoea etc. An infusion of the buds and bark is used as an expectorant. The needles and inner bark are disinfectant and laxative. A tea is used in the treatment of coughs. A poultice made from the warm, boiled inner bark is applied to wounds to draw out infections, to burns, frostbite and deep cuts. The resin is chewed as a cure for indigestion. It has also been used in the treatment of kidney and lung disorders, and as a dressing for ulcers and burns.

Other Uses :
Disinfectant;  Fibre;  Resin;  Tannin;  Wood.

Resin is extracted by tapping the trunk. It is obtained from near the centre of the trunk, one properly made borehole can be used for 20 – 30 years. The resin has a wide range of uses including wood preservatives, medicinal etc. The hole is made in the spring and the resin extracted in the autumn. The roots have been used as a sewing material in canoes and to make durable bags. The bark contains tannin. Wood – very strong, heavy, hard, durable even in water. It weighs 39lb per cubic foot and is used for telegraph poles, fence posts etc. The roots are often curved by as much as 90° and are used by builders of small ships.

The wood is tough and durable, but also flexible in thin strips, and was used by the Algonquian people for making snowshoes and other products where toughness was required. The natural crooks located in the stumps and roots are also preferred for creating knees in wooden boats. Tamarack poles were used in corduroy roads because of their resistance to rot. Currently, the wood is used principally for pulpwood, but also for posts, poles, rough lumber, and fuelwood. Wildlife use the tree for food and nesting.

Guitar luthier Mark Blanchard has named one of his models the tamarack.
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It is also grown as an ornamental tree in gardens in cold regions, and is a favorite tree for bonsai. Tamarack Trees were used before 1917 in Alberta to mark the North East Corner of Sections surveyed within Townships. They were used by the surveyors because at that time the very rot resistant wood was readily available in the bush and was light to carry.

According to ‘Aboriginal Plant Use in Canada’s Northwest Boreal Forest’, the inner bark has also been used as a poultice to treat cuts, infected wounds, frostbite, boils and hemorrhoids. The outer bark and roots are also said to have been used with another plant as a treatment for arthritis, cold and general aches and pains.

Tamarack is the Territorial tree of Northwest Territories. It is mentioned in the Ernest Hemingway short story ‘The Battler’ from In Our Time. A proposed national wildlife refuge has been given the name Hackmatack in honor of an alternate Algonquin name of the species.

Known Hazards : Sawdust from the wood has been known to cause dermatitis in some people.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larix_laricina
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Larix+laricina

Larix decidua

Botanical Name : Larix decidua
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Larix
Species: L. decidua
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales

Common Name :European larch,Larch

Habitat :Larix decidua is  native to the mountains of central Europe, in the Alps and Carpathians, with disjunct lowland populations in northern Poland and southern Lithuania.

Description;
Larix decidua is a medium-size to large deciduous coniferous tree reaching 25–45 m tall, with a trunk up to 1 m diameter (exceptionally, to 55 m tall and 2 m diameter). The crown is conic when young, becoming broad with age; the main branches are level to upswept, with the side branches often pendulous. The shoots are dimorphic, with growth divided into long shoots (typically 10–50 cm long) and bearing several buds, and short shoots only 1–2 mm long with only a single bud. The leaves are needle-like, light green, 2–4 cm long which turn bright yellow before they fall in the autumn, leaving the pale yellow-buff shoots bare until the next spring.

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The cones are erect, ovoid-conic, 2–6 cm long, with 30-70 erect or slightly incurved (not reflexed) seed scales; they are green variably flushed red when immature, turning brown and opening to release the seeds when mature, 4–6 months after pollination. The old cones commonly remain on the tree for many years, turning dull grey-black.

It is very cold tolerant, able to survive winter temperatures down to at least -50°C, and is among the tree line trees in the Alps, reaching 2400 m altitude, though most abundant from 1000–2000 m. It only grows on well-drained soils, avoiding waterlogged ground.

Medicinal Uses:
Tamarack was employed medicinally by a number of native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a variety of complaints.  It is used in the treatment of jaundice, anemia, rheumatism, colds and skin ailments. It is gargled in the treatment of sore throats and applied as a poultice to sores, swellings and burns. A tea made from the leaves is used as an astringent in the treatment of piles, diarrhea etc. An infusion of the buds and bark is used as an expectorant. The needles and inner bark are disinfectant and laxative. A tea is used in the treatment of coughs. A poultice made from the warm, boiled inner bark is applied to wounds to draw out infections, to burns, frostbite and deep cuts. The resin is chewed as a cure for indigestion. It has also been used in the treatment of kidney and lung disorders, and as a dressing for ulcers and burns.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Other Uses:
Larix decidua is cultivated as an ornamental tree for planting in gardens and parks.

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Wood
The wood is tough and durable, but also flexible in thin strips, and is particularly valued for yacht building; wood used for this must be free of knots, and can only be obtained from old trees that were pruned when young to remove side branches.

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Small larch poles are widely used for rustic fencing.

 

Bonsai
The European Larch is a popular Bonsai Species, with many unique specimens available in European Circles, and is popularly used in Bonsai Forest Groups

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Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larix_decidua
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

http://eng.archinform.net/stich/686.htm

http://creativeurbanite.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/larix_decidua_p.jpg

http://fichas.infojardin.com/bonsai/larix-decidua-alerce-europeo-bonsai.htm

http://www.josefsteiner.si/upload/images/product_att/laerchenpfaehle_2_23.jpg

http://www.pracbrown.co.uk/media/1015992/80cm%20quercus%20robur%20(common%20oak)%20in%20parkland%20setting.jpg

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Pseudolarix amabilis

Botanical Name :Pseudolarix amabilis
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Pseudolarix
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class:
Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Synonyms :  P. fortunei. Mayr. P. kaempferi. Gord.

Common Name :Golden Larch

Habotat : It is native to eastern China, occurring in small areas in the mountains of southern Anhui, Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Hubei and eastern Sichuan, at altitudes of 100-1500 m. Golden Larch is sometimes known under an old scientific name Pseudolarix kaempferi, but this may cause confusion with Larix kaempferi, the Japanese Larch.

Description :
It is a deciduous tree reaching 30-40 m tall, with a broad conic crown. The shoots are dimorphic, with long shoots and short shoots similar to a larch, though the short shoots are not so markedly short, lengthening about 5 mm annually. The leaves are bright green, 3-6 cm long and 2-3 mm broad, with two glaucous stomatal bands on the underside; they turn a brilliant golden yellow before falling in the autumn, whence the common name. The leaves are arranged spirally, widely spaced on long shoots, and in a dense whorl on the short shoots.
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It is hardy to zone 6. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.

The cones are distinctive, superficially resembling a small globe artichoke, 4-7 cm long and 4-6 cm broad, with pointed triangular scales; they mature about 7 months after pollination, when (like fir and cedar cones) they disintegrate to release the winged seeds. The male cones, as in Keteleeria, are produced in umbels of several together in one bud.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.The plant prefers acid soils. and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :
Best grown in a warm sheltered site on a deep fertile soil with a pH between 5 and 6 and an annual rainfall of around 1000mm. Plants dislike dry winds and soils that dry out readily.  Slow-growing. A difficult tree to grow well in cool temperate regions, if planted out when small it is easily scorched and can be killed by temperatures of -5°c. In Britain good trees are only found in the southern part of the country. Plants prefer a continental climate with hot summers – they are then much hardier and tolerate cold winters. Best planted out when 30 – 80cm tall, it needs to be kept weed free until established and might require winter protection for its first few years. There are several named forms, selected for their ornamental value.

Propagation:
Seed – sow late winter in a cold greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.

Medicinal uses:
Golden Larch is one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in Chinese herbology, where it is called j?n qián s?ng .The stem bark is used in the treatment of ringworm. The bark shows fungicidal activity against the parasitic Epidermophyton and Trichphyton fungi that cause ringworm.

Other Uses:
Golden Larch is a very attractive ornamental tree for parks and large gardens. Unlike the larches, it is very tolerant of summer heat and humidity, growing very successfully in the southeastern United States where most larches and firs do not succeed. In Europe growth is most successful in the Mediterranean region with notable specimens in northern Italy; further north in Britain it will grow, but only very slowly due to the cooler summers there.

The wood is used for furniture, boat building, and bridges.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudolarix
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Pseudolarix+amabilis
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/images/low/A166-1014030.jpg

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