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The European Larch (larix Europaea)




Distinguishing characters: Its leaves, which are needle-shaped and about

an inch long, are borne in *clusters* close to the twig, Fig. 14.

There are many leaves to each cluster. This characteristic together

with the *spire-like* form of the crown will distinguish the tree at

a glance.



Leaf: The leaves are of a light-green color but become darker in the

spring and in October turn yellow and drop off. The cypress, which

is described below, is another cone-bearing tree which sheds its

leaves in winter.






Form and size: A medium-sized tree with a conical head and a straight

and tapering trunk. (See Fig. 90.)



Range: Central Europe and eastern and central United States.



Soil and location: Requires a deep, fresh, well-drained soil and needs

plenty of light. It flourishes in places where our native species

would die. Grows very rapidly.



Enemies: The larch is subject to the attacks of a _sawfly_, which has

killed many trees of the American species. A _fungus_ (_Trametes

pini_) which causes the tree to break down with ease is another of

its enemies.



Value for planting: A well-formed tree for the lawn. It is also useful

for group planting in the forest.



Commercial value: Because its wood is strong and durable the larch is

valuable for poles, posts, railroad ties, and in shipbuilding.






Other characters: The _fruit_ is a small cone about one inch long,

adhering to the tree throughout the winter.






Comparisons: The tree is apt to be confused with the _American larch_,

also known as _tamarack_ and _hackmatack_, but differs from it in

having longer leaves, cones twice as large and more abundant and

branches which are more pendulous.



The larch differs from the bald cypress in the broader form of its

crown and the cluster-like arrangement of its leaves. The twigs of

the bald cypress are flat and feathery. The larch and bald cypress

have the common characteristics of both shedding their leaves in

winter and preferring to grow in moist or swampy soils. The larch,

especially the native species, forms the well-known tamarack swamps

of the north. The bald cypress grows in a similar way in groups in

the southern swamps.



Tree Studies


How To Identify Trees
Group I The Pines
The White Pine (pinus Strobus)
The Pitch Pine (pinus Rigida)
The Scotch Pine (pinus Sylvestris)
Group Ii The Spruce And Hemlock
The Norway Spruce (picea Excelsa)
Hemlock (tsuga Canadensis)
Group Iii The Red Cedar And Arbor-vitae
Red Cedar (juniperus Virginiana)
Arbor-vitae; Northern White Cedar (thuja Occidentalis)
Group Iv The Larch And Cypress
The European Larch (larix Europaea)
Bald Cypress (taxodium Distichum)
Group V The Horsechestnut, Ash And Maple
The Horsechestnut
The White Ash (fraxinus Americana)
Sugar Maple (acer Saccharum)
Silver Maple (acer Saccharinum)
Red Maple (acer Rubrum)
Norway Maple (acer Platanoides)
Box Elder (acer Negundo)
Group Vi Trees Told By Their Form: Elm, Poplar, Gingko And Willow
American Elm (ulmus Americana)
Lombardy Or Italian Poplar (populus Nigra, Var Italica)
Gingko Or Maidenhair Tree (gingko Biloba)
Weeping Willow (salix Babylonica)
Group Vii Trees Told By Their Bark Or Trunk: Sycamore, Birch, Beech,
Blue Beech, Ironwood, And Hackberry
The Sycamore Or Plane Tree (platanus Occidentalis)
Gray Or White Birch (betula Populifolia)
American Beech (fagus Americana)
Blue Beech Or Hornbeam (carpinus Caroliniana)
Hackberry (celtis Occidentalis)
Group Viii The Oaks And Chestnut
White Oak (quercus Alba)
Black Oak (quercus Velutina)
Red Oak (quercus Rubra)
Pin Oak (quercus Palustris)
Chestnut (castanea Dentata)
Group Ix The Hickories, Walnut And Butternut
Shagbark Hickory (hicoria Ovata)
Mockernut Hickory (hicoria Alba)
Black Walnut (juglans Nigra)
Group X Tulip Tree, Sweet Gum, Linden, Magnolia, Locust, Catalpa,
Dogwood, Mulberry And Osage Orange
Tulip Tree (liriodendron Tulipifera)
Sweet Gum (liquidambar Styraciflua)
American Linden (tilia Americana)
The Magnolias