Common Name – Japanese Larch
Irish Name – learóg Seapánach
Latin Name – Iaponica larix
Larch is light-demanding and hates weed competition, especially overtopping brush weeds such as broom. With good weed management its early height growth is fairly vigorous, up to 1 m a year over the first 5-6 years.
Larix laricina, also known as a tamarack or larch, is a deciduous conifer whose soft needles turn golden in the fall, drop from the tree and return each spring. The tamarack cones are tiny, and first-year growth starts as pink, then turns deep red followed by crispy brown by fall.
Common Uses: Utility poles, fence posts, boatbuilding, decking, furniture, and construction timber.
Japanese Larch is somewhat lighter than most other species of Larch, but it
still has very good strength properties for its weight. Best suited to mineral soils of poor nutrient status (i.e. less fertile than for European larch), and will also grow on very poor soils and on better drained peats. Very fast early height growth means
that it is better suited for mixture with conifers.
It is said that in European folklore the grand larch tree was seen as having protective powers against evil spirits. Its natural force would come alive when burned or when worn on the human body. Specifically, in Siberian and Lapp mythology the larch was recognised as the ‘world tree’.