Tamarack Hacmatack Larch Juniper

=Habitat and Range.=--Low lands, shaded hillsides, borders of ponds; in

New England preferring cold swamps; sometimes far up mountain slopes.

Labrador, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia, west to the Rocky

mountains; from the Rockies through British Columbia, northward

along the Yukon and Mackenzie systems, to the limit of tree growth

beyond the Arctic circle.

Maine, New Hamps
ire, and Vermont,--abundant, filling swamps acres in

extent, alone or associated with other trees, mostly black spruce;

growing depressed and scattered on Katahdin at an altitude of 4000 feet;

Massachusetts,--rather common, at least northward; Rhode Island,--not

reported; Connecticut,--occasional in the northern half of the state;

reported as far south as Danbury (Fairfield county).

South along the mountains to New Jersey and Pennsylvania; west to


=Habit.=--The only New England conifer that drops its leaves in the

fall; a tree 30-70 feet high, reduced at great elevations to a height of

1-2 feet, or to a shrub; trunk 1-3 feet in diameter, straight, slender;

branches very irregular or in indistinct whorls, for the most part

nearly horizontal; often ending in long spire-like shoots; branchlets

numerous, head conical, symmetrical while the tree is young, especially

when growing in open swamps; when old extremely variable, occasionally

with contorted or drooping limbs; foliage pale green, turning to a dull

yellow in autumn.

=Bark.=--Bark of trunk reddish or grayish brown, separating at the

surface into small roundish scales in old trees, in young trees smooth;

season's shoots gray or light brown in autumn.

=Winter Buds and Leaves.=--Buds small, globular, reddish.

Leaves simple, scattered along the season's shoots, clustered on the

short, thick dwarf branches, about an inch long, pale green,

needle-shaped; apex obtuse; sessile.

=Inflorescence.=--March to April. Flowers lateral, solitary, erect; the

sterile from leafless, the fertile from leafy dwarf branches; sterile

roundish, sessile; anthers yellow: fertile oblong, short-stalked; bracts

crimson or red.

=Fruit.=--Cones upon dwarf branches, erect or inclining upwards, ovoid

to cylindrical, 1/2-3/4 of an inch long, purplish or reddish brown while

growing, light brown at maturity, persistent for at least a year; scales

thin, obtuse to truncate; edge entire, minutely toothed or erose; seeds

small, winged.

=Horticultural Value.=--Hardy in New England; grows in any good soil,

preferring moist locations; the formal outline of the young trees

becomes broken, irregular, and picturesque with age, making the mature

tree much more attractive than the European species common to

cultivation. Rarely for sale in nurseries, but obtainable from

collectors. To be successfully transplanted, it must be handled when

dormant. Propagated from seed.

=Note.=--The European species, with which the mature plant is often

confused, has somewhat longer leaves and larger cones; a form

common in cultivation has long, pendulous branches.

1. Branch with sterile and fertile flowers.

2. Sterile flowers.

3. Different views of stamens.

4. Ovuliferous scale with ovules.

5. Fruiting branch.

6. Open cone.

7. Cone-scale with seeds.

8. Leaf.

9. Cross-section of leaf.