The characteristics of larch
- Type: coniferous or coniferous tree
- Height: from 20 to 50 m
- Flower colors: Red Yellow
- Desired exposure: sunny
- Type of soil: clay
- Foliage: spent
- sanitizer: no
- variety: European larch weeping, Japanese larch "Stiff Weeping", Larch larch, Hybrid larch, Chinese larch or false larch ...
Origins and environment of larch
Very widespread in the Alps, where it originates, larch (Larix) is a tree belonging to the pinaceae family (a family which includes pine and fir among its members), known for its resistance to cold.
Recognized by specialists to be the first tree to grow in the mountains, the larch is capable of reaching a height of 50 meters (it experiences very rapid growth during the first 20 years of its life, then slower thereafter), can grow over 2,500 meters above sea level, and reach the age of 600! At altitude, the larch is a very precious tree for humans because it allows the extension of pastures and the prevention of avalanches by retaining snow.
Visually, the larch can be identified by:
- Its long and narrow conical shape, with low horizontal and high vertical branches.
- Its thorny foliage (light green in spring, yellow in autumn) which does not sting.
- Its brown-brown bark which splits when the tree grows.
- Its drooping yellow (female) flowers and erect, very ornamental red (male) flowers which appear in April.
- Its small black fruits with pointed scales.
Special features of larch
Alone coniferous to lose all its needles in autumn, in a very short period of time, the larch is also the resinous species which produces the most solid and durable wood. We can thus find this noble wood in the manufacture of frames, boats or railway sleepers. Preferring the cold and the great outdoors, the larch retains an element of mystery since it is accessible only to mountain populations far from urban life. The tree does not support pollution, it will be impossible for you to see a larch in a city garden. The European species of larch can however be cultivated in bonsai.
The bark and larch needles are used for the medicinal properties of their resin ("Venice turpentine"), which helps fight urinary and pulmonary infections.
In terms of location, the larch is not a very complicated tree: it likes any type of soil as long as it is sufficiently humus-rich, well-drained, and above all deep (its roots tend to take up space when the tree grows!).
To flourish, the larch needs sun but can withstand a semi-shaded exposure.
Like most conifers, the larch is best planted in March-April, when the soil is not yet too wet.
To note : if you want to plant a large larch in your garden, think of your neighbors, and avoid planting it on the edge of their property!
Care of the larch
When it has just been planted, a young larch may require water supply during hot weather, as well as the addition of potting soil in mid-season.
But apart from that, it is a tree that requires no maintenance once it reaches the age of 4 years.
The larch is a tree which, according to the species, can be subject to certain cryptogamic diseases (due to a fungus), such as for example the canker of the European larch.
As for pests, the larch can be affected by aphids, caterpillars and bark beetles.