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Description for Larix laricina
It is a deciduous conifer whose green needles turn a showy yellow in fall before falling to the ground as winter approaches. This is a tree of very cold climates.
This is a medium to large sized tree with an open pyramidal shape and horizontal branching. Slender green needles grow in brush-like clusters. Rounded cones mature to brown. Bark on mature trees is a scaly, reddish-brown.
Planting and care
Best grown in moist, acidic, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates some light shade. Intolerant of full shade, dry soils and most city pollutants.
Caring for Larix laricina
- The best seedbed is warm, moist mineral soil or organic soil with no brush but a light cover of grass or other herbaceous vegetation.
- For best growth, seedlings need full light and a constant water level.
- Early seedling mortality may be caused by damping-off, drought, drowning, and inadequate light.
Typical uses of Larix laricina
Special features: Tamarack is grown in cold areas, and is not recommended for the St. Louis climate. It is often grown in groups. Good fall color.
Culinary use: Wildlife use the tree for food and nesting. Porcupines eat the inner bark, snowshoe hares feeds on tamarack seedlings, and red squirrels.
Ornamental use: Tamarack is useful as an ornamental in very cold climates. Indians used the slender roots to sew together strips of birch bark for their canoes.
Medicinal use: 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.
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.
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