The Larch

Perhaps the best word to describe the larch is lonely, because it leads a solitary life, with no friends. Even birds avoid it and with good reason: the larch is the only conifer to lose its leaves in the fall, so it offers no protection to birds.

We can also call the larch proud because it hates standing in the shadow of anything. The larch prefers to grow alone in full sunlight. Its habitat is very moist soil, swamps, and bogs.

While larch could serve as pulpwood, its favorite haunts make harvesting difficult, even dangerous, for machinery. Larch could be used as lumber, but it takes much longer to dry than spruce or fir.

On the other hand, larch wood is strong, hard, and, above all, rot-resistant. In the past, wharves and many bridges over streams were built with it. Amerinds used its roots to sew together the bark for their canoes. The bark and resin served in medicine for respiratory and kidney ailments as well as in bandages for burns.


Leaf

Photo - leaf

Needles, in tufts of 15 to 60, deciduous.

Fruit

Photo - fruit

Fruits, small cones on stocks.